DeMint announcement ‘shocker’ to S.C. GOP chair, and other reactions

December 6, 2012

Here's how politicos inside and outside South Carolina are reacting to the news that Jim DeMint will resign from the Senate to lead the Heritage Foundation

South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Chad Connelly told The Hill

This was a shocker. He's just been a conservative rockstar for us for so long, and such a great leader… [Demint's departure is] going to open up a real ripple effect and we'll see a lot of candidates coming out. 

Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips:

Senator Jim DeMint will be sorely missed as a leading voice in the Senate for limited government and spending restraint. While he will be missed in the Senate, the conservative movement and The Heritage Foundation have gained a strong new voice and brilliant leader.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.): 

Jim helped provide a powerful voice for conservative ideals in a town where those principles are too often hidden beneath business as usual. There is no question in my mind that he raised the profile of important issues like spending and debt and helped galvanize the American people against a big government agenda. 

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah):

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.):

 Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) 

Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.)

Scott, who is being floated as a potential replacement for DeMint when Gov. Nikki Haley appoints a successor to him, added in his statement that "Looking forward, Governor Haley will now appoint a new Senator, and I know she will make the right choice both for South Carolina and the nation." 

Gov. Nikki Haley (R-S.C.) via Facebook: 

U.S. Senator Jim DeMint has served South Carolina and the national conservative movement exceptionally well. His voice for freedom and limited government has been a true inspiration. On a personal level, I value Jim’s leadership and friendship. Our state’s loss is the Heritage Foundation’s gain. I wish Jim and Heritage all the best in continuing our shared commitment to America’s greatness.

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in a speech Thursday on the Senate floor: 

Jim has an unlimited bright future in the private sector. On behalf of all of us in South Carolina, I want to say to Jim and Debbie [DeMint’s wife] thank you very much for taking time away from your family, fighting the good fight, pressing issues that you passionately believe in... Great job, well done. 

We will continue updating this post. 

Natalie Jennings is a Web producer for PostTV.
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