Washington (CNN) - Republican Sen. Jim DeMint isn't sold on who to support in the 2012 presidential election, but Jon Huntsman will not make his list.
The South Carolina king maker and early supporter of the tea party movement has called on Republican presidential candidates to sign a "cut, cap, balance" pledge to slash spending and balance the budget. He has said a commitment to the pledge is necessary to win his support that could prove valuable in the early voting state of South Carolina and within his larger conservative following.
"For me, he's out," DeMint said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."
Four Republican presidential candidates signed the pledge: Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. Huntsman told CNN Wednesday that "Other than the pledge of allegiance, I don't do a whole lot of pledges."
DeMint's call comes as leaders in Washington attempt to reach an agreement over an increase in the debt limit. Senate leaders will meet with Vice President Joe Biden and President Obama Monday. Treasury Department officials have said Congress has until August 2 to raise the debt limit or the United States will start defaulting on its loans.
DeMint previously supported former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney who is now making another run for the White House, but this time around said he's "not writing anyone off unless they write off the idea of a balanced budget."
"I'm working with people in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina, to try to get a lot of people to hold back and not commit so we can see how they respond to this debt ceiling, the balanced budget and some of the things that we're going to face here over the next few months," DeMint told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "I think we'll know who our candidate is by how they, they lead based on what we're doing here."
Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.
Huntsman, and all thinking Republicans (yes there are too and get that smirk off your face) have a huge delima. The Tea party is wrong on the issues and wong for America and they know it, but they have power in the primaries. It is kind of like when hte hippies influenced the Democrats in the late 60-early 70s..resul,t Nixon. Anyway he and the others will have to decide how they can get close enough to the tea pardiots to get theri support but not too close and risk losing the independants in the general election. It is not a choice I envy, but then I will be voting for Obama come hell or high water so I don't really have a horse in the GOP race. It is ironic though, Huntman has the best chance of beating Obama in the general election but the least chance of convincing the tea party that he is "rabid enough".
Bring on more pledges GOP fo signatures. This will enable you to eliminate all candidates, as many are not enthusiatic in supporting them!
Good luck with your pledge demands, Mr DeMint! Hopefully, such actions will serve to further fracture what is already a rather divided Republican Party, and guarantee your defeat in November of 2012. Keep up the good work, sir.
Lesson Demint just want another unpromising fool like himself. When their god Reagan cut taxes. He quickly realized the folly of his ways. He quilt raised taxes not once not twice but a total of 11 times be fore the country went into the abyss. These repugs have prevented to allow the president to raise taxes once even as the country keep spiraling out into nothingness. The tea baggers which every incumbent repug are terrified of. Has have this country in a death grip which no one seems to can break their strangle hold. We are taxed enough they scream on a daily basis, as our country sink lower and lower, the stimulus didn't work, while the CBO, said it saved and created nearly 4 million jobs, keep government out of private business, yet they blame and manipulate government at every turn, The list goes on and on. Why cant they tell the repugs to write just one jobs bill so that the president can sign, since they ran on jobs jobs jobs. JUST ONE PLEEEEEEESE!
Yet another reason to support Huntsman
Sen. Rick Santorum, Herman Cain ,Rep. Ron Paul and Gov. Tim Pawlenty are not in the winner list
DeMint is showing the true face of the social conservative/Tea Party movement in the GOP, intolerant hateful thugs who demand ideological purity at any cost. The only pledge that count is the one of loyalty to the United States and defense of the US Constitution.
If a lunatic doesn't like you, that's a good thing, isn't it? Unless you need the support of all the other lunatics....
DeMint, "king maker", and South Carolina........three things that don't go together.
These pledges are ridiculous. We have already seen one pledge prevent any compromise on the debt ceiling. This is like zero tolerance and it doesn't work. If pledges are all we need then why have elected officials? We can program a computer with pledges and let it run the country. It's stupid.
Ah, yes: South Carolina. The primary state that gave us Dubyuh, just in time for 9/11.
I won't support any Republican – I don't trust them to act in the best interests of the country – BUT Huntsman just jumped up a notch on the long list of those who would be king.
Great! Another thing I like about Huntsman.
DeMint is the kind of politician I can't stand. He wants to keep sending U.S. troops into harm's way, but DeMint (according to his website) did not serve in the military (U.S. or otherwise), nor is there any indication that his grown children served. Politicians like DeMint, Boehner, or Cantorwho are so brave with the lives of others, disgust me.
He and several other republicans pledged TO MAKE OBAMA A ONE TERM PRESIDENT. They will destroy this nation if that's what it takes to remove the first half-white president.
The good ole southern men sure know how to ruin a country, don't they?
Sen Dement is like all Republicans. Republicans do not accept tax cuts as an expenditure nor a form of spending. The Bush Tax Cuts have cost the American people $6T over the past decade and still counting. They have been the single greatest expenditure on the books over the past decade.
If i was Huntsman, i would be elated not to be tagged with that pompous, jack-'s
approval, the man is aptly named, demented. Who gives a big Whoop, who he endorses!!!
Not even Bachmann would sign the pledge? If Bachmann isn't conservative enough for him, DeMint oughta reconsider what the point of his pledge actually is.
I expect the GOP primary to be a three horse race between Bachmann, Romney, and Huntsman, with Pawlenty as a possible. So much for the power of DeMint's endorsement.
Great place is to put your money where your mouth is by cutting and caping all those who sign the stupid pledge. Let's see how sincere you really are or not. It's just more of the GOP talking points, that means they aren't creating more jobs as they promised last election.
There goes the one GOP candidate I am interested in supporting. What an insane clown posse.
Jon Huntsman is the only GOP candidate worth a second look. Therefore his own party will reject him. Sad.
This is hardly news. DeMint would never endorse a moderate Republican - where "moderate" is anyone non-Tea-Party.
Ideological purity at any cost...where did we hear that kind of thinking before?Well,at least, until the history is rewritten by tea baggers and palin it was sometime in the 1920's and 30's in Germany.
These behind the scenes pledges to individuals trying to run the show without paying the price of admission are a large part of the problem right now. Whether its Norquist or DeMint they are an affront to our democratic system. Elected officials are there to represent the people that elected them not these demigods. They should ignore both of these power brokers and pledge only to do what is right for the country in any given situation. If that doesn't agree with these pledges then so be it. If they want to run the country let them run for president themselves and then use their influence once elected. Stop playing the man behind the curtain and come out into the daylight.
So who the heck is DeMint? Jesus Christ? I think not. The entire field of Republican "candidates" looks like a can of mixed wingnuts. None of these people are fit to lead if their only answer to balancing the budget is to further ride the backs of the middle class and poor in America. In fact, as a goodwill gesture I think they should all kick back 10% of the money they grift off of the public. At least Silly Sarah is honest. She's a grifter and she does not care who knows it.
Thank you for your endorsement of President Obama.
I know you don't intend that, but your every move, and those of the rest of the TEA Party "movement" all but insures a second term for President Obama.