Jim DeMint Opposes Tax Cut

VIDEO: Sen. DeMint Critical of Payroll Tax Cut, Unsure of Rick Perry as a Candidate

Here’s a sentence you won’t read too often: Sen. Jim DeMint is coming out against a tax cut.

It’s not just any tax cut. DeMint, R-S.C. – one of the most prominent tea party and anti-tax voices in the country – told ABC’s Jonathan Karl that he’s inclined to oppose President Obama’s proposal for an extension of the payroll tax cut.

In a clip we aired on ABC’s “Top Line” today, DeMint said he’s inclined to stand against the president’s tax-cutting proposals because they’re temporary in nature.

“I have to look at it as a businessman, and the things he’s doing makes me want to pull my hair out. It’s like he doesn’t understand. He’s talking about a $5,000 credit for someone — a business who hires someone,” DeMint said. “An employer isn’t going to look out five or 10 years and expand their plan based on a temporary payroll tax cut.”

Asked if that means he’d vote against a tax cut, DeMint responded:

“I don’t know what I’ll do on that. If that’s all there is, I’m unlikely to support it. The president needs to do something that works with our free market economy. We’re not Europe,” he said. “I don’t know if I’ll vote against it or not. It’s not really going to help create more jobs.”

DeMint also said he’s “disappointed” that Texas Gov. Rick Perry was forced to cancel on the presidential forum DeMint organized in his home state yesterday, and said he’s not yet convinced whether Perry is a strong candidate.

“I don’t know yet. I’ve never met Rick,” DeMint said. “We’ve talked on the phone several times, and I know he’s the new one in the race and he’s attracted some attention. But it’s a long run between now and the final nomination.”

DeMint said he’s willing to give Perry a shot even though he was once a Democrat who supported Al Gore for president in 1988.

“You know, Ronald Reagan was a Democrat, and certainly he became one of the premier conservatives,” he said. “I’m a recovering earmarker and I led the battle to stop earmarks. So we can give the candidates room to change position. But we can’t give the candidates room to mislead what they’ve done.”

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