Washington (CNN) – South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint announced his support for Rand Paul Wednesday in the Kentucky Republican Senate primary, the latest endorsement that has put DeMint at odds with GOP leaders.
DeMint's backing of Paul stands in disagreement with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's endorsement of Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, who is Paul's main competition to be the GOP nominee for the November election. McConnell is the senior senator from Kentucky. Paul is the son of Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and is one of several Republicans seeking his party's nomination.
DeMint acknowledged that he and McConnell are backing different candidates in this intraparty battle, but emphasized that he continues to support McConnell as the top Republican in the Senate.
"Senator McConnell and I are on different sides in this race but I support him as our leader," DeMint said in a statement issued by his Senate Conservatives Fund political action committee.
As for Paul, DeMint said he is endorsing him because the ophthalmologist is a "true conservative who will stand up to the Washington establishment."
DeMint has recently supported other candidates who were not favored by the Republican Party establishment.
DeMint was an early supporter of Marco Rubio, the former Florida House speaker who is now the favorite to win the Florida GOP Senate nomination. His opponent, Gov. Charlie Crist, had been endorsed by national and state Republicans. But Crist removed himself from the primary last week after realizing Rubio would likely win. Rubio now has the backing of GOP leaders and Crist is running an independent bid for the seat.
Another DeMint backed candidate, state Sen. Marlin Stutzman, lost his bid Tuesday for the Indiana GOP Senate nomination. Stutzman placed second to former Sen. Dan Coats, who was the favorite of the GOP establishment.
DeMint also backed the teabagging loser in the Illinois primary. We see how well that worked out. People see DeMint for what he is. An extreme rightwing racist. He's the kiss of death for politicians. Please keep endorsing Jim.
Run away from the DimWhit .....Rand...........He is the kiss of death....Hey DimWhit how did that Waterloo deal work out for ya..........
When is this enemy of the people up for re-election? I know that the Founding Fathers required that every state have two senators, but did they really have the likes of this guy in mind?
I live in South Carolina and wish our senator would pay as much attention to us as he does to Kentucky, Florida, and Indiana.
DeMint does nothing for the people who elected him, but draw a pay check from the taxpayers.
Now that is the smartest thing DeMint has ever done. We need Libertarians in washington not Neo Conservatives and Liberals.
Go Rand Paul !
"Ron Paul's son"? Are you serious, CNN?
Rand Paul is his own man with his own convictions. Ron is not part of the story here, and I disappointed with your headline
Well, that's a kiss of death. Rand can save some money and drop out of the race now.
Republicans. What a bunch of backstabbers. Careful America, they'll turn on you in a minute.... remember, "if you're not with us, you're un-American"
The TRUE Republican motto.
Paul is the clear choice here if you want to be represented by someone that follows the Constitution. McConnell just wants him another yes man.
I took a poll...no one cares who DeMint endorses.
Well that will be the end of Paul's run for office. How great to have the biggest racist Republican Senator from SC endorsing you! He is also the same treasonous man who has called for America to fail and that Republicans would make healthcare reform Obama's waterloo.
DeMinted is up for re-election himself. Let's hope SC stands up for intelligence, character, and rejects racism and votes in a Democrat.
DeMint is a fool, a liar, a hate-spewing racist, and promoted violence against Democratic leaders after healthcare passed. He is not worthy of office and should be removed from further working to destroy our nation.
Hey, South Carolina, what are you thinking with this DeMint character? My family and I have spent our vacations for nearly the last 23 years in your beautiful state, extended family even more years than that, and I have to say I don't think y'all are crazy, so what gives?
DeMint is setting himself up for the next majority leader.