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Friday, June 24, 2011

Fighting Words: DeMint Warns Republicans They May Be 'Gone' if They Support Debt Ceiling Increase

DeMint Warns Republicans They May Be 'Gone' if They Support Debt Ceiling Increase

PHOTO: Jon Karl and Sen. Jim DeMint

Jonathan Karl interviews Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C. (ABC News)

By JONATHAN KARL (@jonkarl) and SUNLEN MILLER (@sunlenmiller)

June 24, 2011

Conservative firebrand Sen. Jim DeMint has a message to fellow Republicans in Congress: If you support increasing the debt ceiling without first passing a balanced budget amendment and massive across-the-board spending cuts, you're gone -- destined to be swept out of Congress by a wave of voter anger.

"Based on what I can see around the country," DeMint, R-S.C., said in an interview for the ABC News Subway Series, "not only are those individuals gone, but I would suspect the Republican Party would be set back many years.

"It would be the most toxic vote," DeMint said. "I can tell you if you look at the polls, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, they do not think we should increase the debt limit."

DeMint is not just talking political analysis here. He has a significant fundraising base and has shown a willingness to use his campaign money to support or oppose fellow Republicans.

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