Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) is on the lookout for candidates to take over the Republican National Committee from Michael Steele and to run for president in 2012.
“I appreciate Michael Steele’s service, but I’m looking for some alternatives right now. I haven’t decided who I would support,” he said of the RNC chairman on “Fox News Sunday.”
The RNC will elect a chairman in mid-January to serve another two-year term, and Saul Anuzis, a member of the RNC’s executive committee, formally launched a bid for the post Friday. Steele has yet to announce his intention to run for a second term and is facing a chorus of criticism from his GOP colleagues.
“Frankly, I think where we lost a few Senate seats, our ground game was not as strong as it could have been,” DeMint said of the 2010 midterm Congressional elections. “We were actually outmanned on the ground. And going into 2012, we need a really strong leader for the Republican Party to match the get-out-the-vote that we saw from the Obama machine last time.”
Looking ahead to the 2012 presidential contest, DeMint said, “Right now, I have no plans to run for president.”
The Senator, who backed candidates favored by the tea party movement over GOP establishment candidates in the 2010 primaries, said he’s looking for a GOP presidential candidate “who will have the courage and leadership abilities to come out and make the hard decisions that we need to turn this country away from a cliff.”
Steve Peoples contributed to this report.