Senator Jim DeMint Dismisses President Obama's Jobs Speech

"I'm going to listen and look and do my homework," DeMint said. "And I'm not counting any of them out at this point."

DeMint said he still hopes to find out more about Perry, whose recent entry into the race has shaken up the field.

The South Carolina senator said he does not hold Perry's past affiliation as a Democrat who supported Al Gore for president in 1988 against him, or past statements he has made about Social Security that have created controversy in recent weeks.

"We know people change. Reagan was a Democrat," DeMint said. "And I want to look at what the governor's done as governor of Texas, just as I'm going to try to dig into a lot of the issues, past, present and future policy proposals of all the candidates."

DeMint said the Tea Party is reaching a broader base of the GOP electorate, and the candidates will have to appeal to them on fiscal issues to gain their critical support.

"It's not one, small group. What it is, is just thousands of groups around the country who are concerned about the future of our country," DeMint said. "All the candidates are going to have to appeal to this new grassroots movement."

"I'm not trying to anoint any candidate," DeMint added. "I'm looking at which one really catches the attention and inspires the average American, who has gotten involved with politics and the political process."

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