(CNN) - Although Republican Sen. Jim DeMint has yet to make a 2012 presidential endorsement, he said Sunday he could support any of the current top-tier candidates in the race.
"They all have strengths, and there's no one in that group that I couldn't support as our nominee and there's no one who would not do a better job than our current president," DeMint said on CNN's "State of the Union." "So I'm very open right now, I'm listening to what they say."
The South Carolina senator and favorite of the tea party movement said his Labor Day Presidential Forum is a chance for the candidates to define themselves and prove they have the "character, the courage and competence to actually lead."
Declared Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich are scheduled to attend Monday's discussion. Participation required 5 percent support in national polls.
DeMint also defended the tea party movement that he said is a voice sounding the alarm over the fiscal concerns of most Americans, including excessive spending and borrowing that increase the national debt.
"Obama and a lot of the Democrats, folks in the media have tried to speak of the tea party in derogatory terms and suggested it's a small right-wing group," DeMint said. "For every person who goes to a tea party rally, there are hundreds of people who share those concerns. So what the Democrats are criticizing is legitimate, genuine, citizen activism, which has brought some accountability to Washington."
Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.
If demint was president in 2008 America would have seized to exist. Why is south Carolina keep sending this backward economical guy to the senate. I guest you can judge the book by it's cover.
If Jim DeMint can't endorse a TeaBagger, what is the sense of living, America is doomed!!!!
He's going to ENDORSE Perry and he will be selected as the 2nd man!!!
This is a fight with the far-RIGHT women versus the far-RIGHT men
And as the battle goes on – what part of the Republican Party would win!!
They're all scattered about with absolutely NO ONE to truly LEAD
While the more moderate candidates are LOST and their less obnoxious message BLEED!!
Perry, Bachmann, Palin and now DahMINT dominates the news. They are front on the stage and their voices are heard!! This is a mistake but hey, bring it on!! These guys are going to be "so far right" while they battle each other – any ONE of them will stick out like a sore thumb in a general election!!!
Really don't care about this relic's opinion. Again he is just a man a career politician with NO ideas to fix the economy NO bills ready to pass for jobs for Americans NO......
JK USA and state of the union CNN right wing programs if not I don’t know why he is in this show
DeMint “No more tax increase only cut spending”
Total defense spending 2012 is nearly $880 Billion that is close to $ 1 trillion we can’t cut our defense. Remaining is 46% which programs he want to cut really can we reduce our deficit cutting those programs get real
The dept of one sole come from the way he phase his sentence. Bless.
How do you plan to create jobs?
Instead of providing an answer, all I hear from the GOP is smaller government which means longer unemployment lines.
I'm not for increasing the size of government, but in doing so, one needs to be aware that it does mean more unemployment.
Just tell me where the jobs are going to come from GOP. You guys picked up control of the House from the Nov 2010 election and I don't see you doing ANYTHING that will produce a single job. Wake up!!!
We won't vote for you demons, no matter who you endorse.
Waiting for DeMint's endorsement, why not wait for Satan's? I wonder who Charlie Manson is going to endorse.
His endorsement is giving media attention to the "IDIOT Teaparty's top choice de Jour" WHO CARES? Only idiots think the teatards should be in charge of anything, including a sewage system in some back woods town.
Candy, Jim Demint just lied on your show this Sunday morning. As he was discussing the unemployment, he stated that companies are complaining that workers do NOT want to go back to work, until their unemployment runs out and with it, their food stamps. I am not positive how unemployment law works in South Carolina, but in states I do know about, if an employer offers you a job (new or return to work); you have NO choice but to take the job, or you will loose unemployment benefits. I think Demint is outright lying about this, in hopes to stir the pot of republicans against the unemployed workers who through NO fault of their own, find themselves without a job! Pure political stink from Demint, not based in FACT!
How does demint have the nerve to put all unemployed Americans in one category?I would not vote for whomever he endorses if you paid me million dollars or 100 dollars. What a Kelly.
I'm not sure that I'd really want his endorsement if I wanted to win the country. If someone wanted to win the nomination, then they would need to get his endorsement. The problem is that the tea people don't really understand what needs to get done to get the economy moving first and then cut back later when there is more money coming in.
Any South Carolina Republican is looking to endorse the biggest bigot they can find. I'll recommend either Bachman or Perry. Both are anti-everything, complete morons, and demonstrate a complete lack of character. They are the perfect candidates for a slime-ball like DeMint to endorse.
Rob, you're right. Demint was lying. Obviously, he's never been on unemployment himself and I doubt he knows anyone who has. As someone who has been unemployed, I know that an unemployed person is required to actively seek employment to keep receiving benefits and if the person doest turn down work, benefits will be lost. For him to say that people are turning down jobs because they prefer to stay on unemployment and food stamps is just obscene. Demint has the nerve to say that any government support for citizens who are in need automatically leads to people "gaming the system." I suppose that big corporations and members of the upper class who take advantage of tax shelters and loopholes aren't gaming the system! I don't know if Demint is living in a fantasy world or is just plain mean.
The gop/tp are not helping our country. the other day demint said he would back the person that opposed the president the loudest? why would anyone care what this man says? he does not support his own state much less the usa! wake up sc and vote him out!
Folks, I do not mislead, just ignore these bastards, and vote "Direct Democratic Ticket". Vote for Obama, he cares for America's Middle Class and Poor. He is not for Corporate thugs......sure, Obama2012......