Sen. DeMint: "You Can't Be A Fiscal Conservative and Not Be A Social Conservative"

November 10, 2010 11:31 am ET — Kate Conway

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) doesn't think you can be a fiscal conservative without also being a social conservative — or so he said last night on Special Report:

BAIER: Some of your fellow Republicans — Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana, has suggested calling a truce on social issues while the country deals with the emergency economic situation. What do you think about that?

DEMINT: Well, you can't be a fiscal conservative and not be a social conservative. A large part of the expansive government is to make up for a dysfunctional society because our culture's falling apart. The family's falling apart.


Aside from the obvious absurdity (hey there, libertarians) of DeMint's statement, that's a pretty odd thing to say in the wake of what conservatives have celebrated as a "Tea Party tidal wave" — the election of a number of candidates who claim to represent a group of people almost exclusively concerned with fiscal policy. Tea Party candidates who stuck to the economy — which most voters named as their top issue — did pretty well in the elections. Those like Ken Buck, who dragged his right-wing social views into the election, lost. Even Tea Party leader Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks blamed Buck's loss on social issues, stressing that the strength of the Tea Party movement is its "focus on fiscal issues."