November 17th, 2008
06:20 PM ET
14 years ago

GOP senator scolds DeMint over McCain comments


Watch Sen. Shelby in The Situation Room.

(CNN) - Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby scolded fellow Republican Sen. Jim DeMint Monday over his recent criticisms of John McCain.

"I think my friend Sen. Jim DeMint should keep this stuff in the caucus and not be out beating up on fellow republicans," he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

The comments refer to DeMint's recent statement - first reported by CNN - to a gathering of conservatives in South Carolina, during which he said the Republican party has strayed from its own "brand," and directly faulted McCain for the GOP's across-the-board defeat on Election Day.

"We have to be honest, and there's a lot of blame to go around, but I have to mention George Bush, and I have to mention Ted Stevens, and I'm afraid I even have to mention John McCain," he said Friday night.

Earlier: DeMint says McCain betrayed conservative principles

"McCain, who is a proponent of campaign finance reform that weakened party organizations and basically put George Soros in the driver's seat," DeMint added. "His proposal for amnesty for illegals. His support of global warming, cap-and-trade programs that will put another burden on our economy. And of course, his embrace of the bailout right before the election was probably the nail in our coffin this last election. And he has been an opponent of drilling in ANWR, at a time when energy is so important. It really didn't fit the label, but he was our package."

In the interview Monday, Shelby suggested the blame does not rest with McCain but instead with President Bush.

"I wouldn't blame John McCain. John McCain has not been president of the United States. He ran a spirited campaign. We lost. I hated to see us lose but there were a lot of things working against us," Shelby said.

"I think the GOP, the Grand Old Party, the republicans, they will regroup," Shelby also said. "This reminds me 16 years ago when you had the big history by president Clinton and they said that the GOP was finished. We were back in a few years, we will be back again."

- CNN's Peter Hamby contributed to this report

Filed under: Jim DeMint
soundoff (187 Responses)
  1. Dexter in Houston TX

    I haven't voted a straight Democrat ticket in years, but I am glad I did this time around.
    Republicans please get off the stage until you can get your act are making fools of yourselves and this great nation!

    DX in TX

    November 17, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. EW

    Tolerance is the last virtue of a dying nation.

    November 17, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. Joel

    Oh, for the love of...

    If I hear one more right-winger say that McCain lost because he wasn't conservative enough, I'm going to scream. This is insane. McCain lost because people rejected the Right. If True Conservatism were the panacea, Tancredo and Romney would have done a lot better.

    Conservatism lost this round. It's not invincible. It's not magic. It's not the Revealed Word Of God. Deal with it.

    November 17, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  4. Red, Red WHINE!!

    I agree 100%.

    It's not McCain's fault that ALL republicans suck! And it's not Bush's fault that ALL republicans suck! It's just a simple case of all republicans sucking!

    November 17, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. Luis, Seattle, WA

    DeMint is an idiot...we all know he has no basis to accuse McCain of anything. I am sick of the extremist right wing portion of our party. If they do not like it....let them start their own party and let's see how far the go without the center right or the center left of our Party. Idiots!!!

    November 17, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. country first

    Good. He need only look in the mirror ot to the man he was following that cost the Republicans. It was the extreme right that coOpted the Republican Party. That is not the Republican parties values. John McCain was the real candidate, that offered experience, knowledge and true heroism.

    It was koolaid drinkers that switched sides and joined the entertainment/tv/hollywood crew for their "symbol" and played the presidency of 08 with racism. low we go and then you have a Republican over react to and show why John McCain did lose.

    November 17, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  7. Kathy from Seattle

    As Stephanie Miller would probably say – This has been another edition of "Republicans Eating Their Own"

    November 17, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  8. Jon Davis

    Jim DeMint is a deFool. I voted for Obama, but McCain was actually the only thing relatively good about the Republican Party this year, even though McCain did drop most of his "maverick" positions in order to get the support of right-wingers like DeMint. But without McCain the Republicans would have lost even more seats, and the current Republican minority needs all its remaining members. Hey Senator DeMint, why don't you push a few more Republicans into the Democratic Party or into independent status like Jim Jeffords?

    November 17, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  9. justin

    Umm i think prop 8 should be re voted because everyone should be treated equaly.. im not gay but why does it matter . We have no reason to judge anyone. And religion has nothing to do with it . i think people have rights to love and marry who every they want.

    November 17, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. Greg

    Shut up Richard. Jim is the one of the only guys in Washington interested in addressing the truth and getting to the root of our problems. Get in line behind him until you're really interested in doing what's best for the country.

    November 17, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. Maggie from Virginia


    You're already a fool. No need to fool you.

    November 17, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |


    November 17, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  13. Wynter

    The real reason the GOP lost its mojo is simply because they got drunk on "power at all costs". Anyone Democrat they could destroy the would do so, no matter the lies, and deceit used. The served their own needs, not the people's. They may have entered politics a long time ago with idealism and honor, but they were quick to trade it in for a good sound bite or attack ad against whomever was in the party's crosshairs at the time.

    This is a country built by the People, run by the People, and owned by the People. Politicians need to realize who really has the Power and it ain't them. Each and every one of them has made mistakes in their attempts to gain the power of their office. But the true power is in following the correct course to serve the needs of the People, not their own pockets or party. If they do the right thing, for the right purpose they deserve their position.


    November 17, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  14. 60 year old, white female for Obama

    The infighting among the Repulicans in the senate, with Huckabees' new book taking on his formal rivals, the governors trying to edge Palin out, the controversy and rift between the religious right and the few thinking Republicans left, Palin negotiating book deal for over 7 million dollars( perhaps a title could be The Audacity of the Power Hungry) and now McCain meeting with Obama!!!

    Sadly this soap opera will continue over the next four years as they try to pander and lie to gain the Latino vote.

    Maybe there is a chance for a third party!!

    November 17, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  15. Obama's Aunt Fanny

    Good start, now go rank that fool Broun about calling Obama Hitler. Next, put Ben Stein in a rest home. GOP, just go away for the next four years. Go look for yellowcake and WMDs. Try to find McCain's birth certificate. Take Rush's pills and give them to Cindy.

    November 17, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  16. Woman Against Palin

    The Republicans live in the Dark Ages. Most Americans are forward thinking. The Republican party is doomed unless their "base" is no longer the evangelical christians. Religion and politics don't mix, people don't like it. Keep your religion out of my politics. Period!

    November 17, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  17. Corbett

    This comment about betraying the Republican "brand" exemplifies one of the biggest problems with the Republican party. "Brand" is a marketing term used primarily by commercial businesses, who make money.

    First of all, the goal of a political party is to provide candidates who support certain policies. Money is important BUT IT IS NOT THE BOTTOM LINE.

    Secondly, when you product has the lowest approval rating of any product in the history of your industry, there is no amount of "brand awareness" or "clarity in brand communication" that can help it. YOU NEED A NEW PRODUCT.

    And you should be very careful on how you design it and market it. Because if you let Sarah "Bush" Palin design a another product based on small government and Christian values that increases government spending exponentially, allows for the systematic predation of teenagers and defends the torture of innocent people, then you will have another rotten steak and there will be no amount of "sizzle" that can sell it.

    November 17, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  18. Peter (CA)

    "Obama discriminating"-What's your agenda?
    I got a robocall before the election asking me to vote no on 8 and included a clip from Obama saying that it was an intolerant measure.
    What more do you want now??

    November 17, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  19. Amber

    The black community DID NOT vote FOR Prop 8. OLD PEOPLE DID.

    OLDER BLECK VOTED FOR PROP 8. OLDER WHITES VOTED FOR PROP 8. Blacks in the under 30 set voted in the same percentage numbers at the white under 30 set on prop 8.

    So there is No. Animosity. Between. Blacks & Gays.
    Except for what Sean Hannity tells you to believe.

    Dont listen to these fools who want to to cause DIVISION and SEW DISCORD.

    November 17, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  20. Randy - Denver

    i find it interesting that there are people in the GOP who blame McCain for the disintegration of the republican Party. What they fail to see is that ANY OTHER Republican would have been CRUSHED, not just defeated like McCain was. McCain brought a lot of the independant voters out to support him, none of the other Republican Candidates could ahve done that (could you see independants voting for Huckabee or Rommney and their radical religious views? How about Guiliani and his one horse band 9/11 was bad and I was there!, or maybe Fred Thompson and his well i am a famous TV actor and so was Reagan so you can trust me to lead? The only one, besides McCain that could ahve even made it a race was Ron Paul and too many republicans, while they mouth the words about personal freedom and fiscal responsibility, could not find it in themselves to vote for someone who actually meant that. No McCain is one place you cannot put the blame in the Republican party, I would say him and paul are about the ONLy places you cannot put the blame.

    November 17, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  21. Paul C.

    This is not 1992. Obama is not Clinton and at that time the Democrats were the majority in the house for 40 years. But I can hardly blame the GOP, if I were in their camp I'd be trying to paint everything in a rosy picture. The "Contract With America", what nonsense that was, was a direct result of bitter and disaffected righties who to this day still can't let go of the fact that the unknown governor from AK defeated their hero Bush Sr., who I might add was not that bad of a president and I respect him. And to the few and I mean few right wing loners posting here, get over it, you lost, your days of controlling the government is over and it will probably be at least 10 years before the GOP ever gets a majority. You've gone from the party of Reagan and Bill Buckley to Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh. So yell at the wind all you want but asides from being an amusement and a prime example of sore losers, no one is listening!

    November 17, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  22. Peter (CA)

    Brain G @4:44,

    You sir have crystallized my thoughts on this subject so much better than I ever could.

    November 17, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. Andrew

    I know – God forbid free speech, huh?

    November 17, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  24. Thomas Paine

    Don't help the auto industry and let them go out of business while 3,000,000 lose their jobs. Then see how many republicans will be in congress in two years.
    One in every 10 jobs is auto industry related that means 10% of the work force will be losing their jobs. Now we will have at 16% unemployment.
    Way to go Shelby.

    November 17, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  25. Christopher Boyce

    DeMint does not get it. As bad as McCain campaigned, he was still probably their best shot at holding onto the executive branch. Yeah, their party was viewed as flip flopping on the issues, but voters still rejected some of the Republican Party's core philosophies- deregulation, deficit spending, and militarism to name a few big ones!

    November 17, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8