Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) said Wednesday night that Republicans should maintain their hardline position in the debt-ceiling debate even if it results in “serious disruptions” to the economy.

“What I'm advocating here is, let's use this as a point of leverage, give the president an increase, but don't come away without real cuts from real caps and spending, and without a balanced budget,” DeMint said on FOX Business Network.


“We're at the point where there would have to be some, you know, some serious disruptions in order not to raise [the debt ceiling],” he said. “I'm willing to do that.”

The president pushed the economy into “crisis” mode, according to DeMint. He said the president has been “burning time” with the deficit negotiations led by Vice President Biden, when the looming debt ceiling and budget deficit could have been addressed last year.

DeMint, well-known for speaking out in favor of limited government and balancing the budget, told host Andrew Napolitano that if Republicans and Democrats couldn’t vote in “something permanent” that would limit government spending, “we're going to continue to spend [until] the total country collapses.”

In the interview, DeMint also spoke about his book The Great American Awakening and credited “rallies and Tea Parties” for pushing for change on spending and the debt. The two years since the bailouts began and President Obama was elected “were dark years” for DeMint personally, he said.

“It's much more pleasant for me this year than last, but I think what the Republican leadership needs to know is America is still awake,” he said. “We haven’t finished the job.”