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Hannity

Will the Midterms Remake the Republican Party?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," October 20, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: We are now less than two weeks away from November's midterm elections and as judgment day approaches, it appears more and more likely that our generation will bear witness not to the Obama revolution but to the conservative revolution led by the Tea Party Movement.

Now as members of the Tea Party rose to protest big government's intrusion into their lives, they also look for political candidates willing to stop the growth of government in its tracks.

Candidates backed by the Tea Party movement from Florida's Marco Rubio to Nevada's Sharron Angle and Kentucky's Rand Paul are promising to do just that. South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint played a crucial role in transforming the Tea Party from a protest movement into unstoppable political force.

He has publicly called for the GOP to return to its conservative roots and supported these antiestablishment candidates in every way he can. In doing so, he has revolutionizing the Republican Party and in just 13 days, he may help remake America.

Joining me how is South Carolina senator, the man himself, Jim DeMint.

Jim, welcome to the program. Apparently you're a bit of iconoclasts. I understand you're having a little bit of problems. I notice some Republican senators, your colleagues, have even been openly critical of you.

Have you taken notice of that?

SENATOR JIM DEMINT, R-S.C.: Well, I have noticed that, Sean. And there is some folks in the Senate who really don't want to change. But I'm excited about the new Republicans who are coming to the House and the Senate.

And I can't take much of the credit for it, Sean. I think this is all about the American people. Not just the Tea Parties but millions of people who feel the same way, who are going out to vote.

They just want to stop this radical Pelosi-Obama agenda. They don't want the old Republicans. But we've got a great slate of new Republicans who are going to come into the Senate and help us save our country.

HANNITY: Well, I think -- you may be giving us a preview of coming attractions if you will of what might occur in 13 days. And I don't want to go too deeply into this, but you have said that, look, very publicly, you don't want to be in Washington six more years with the same people that you were there with now.

You said, I think we've got a lot of great candidates, we're going to change the face of the Republican Party.

What specifically do you want to change about the Republican Party?

DEMINT: Well, we've got to be the party of limited government, Sean. We've got to support a constitutional limited government. We can't have Republicans who come to Washington and think it's their job to take home the bacon.

I mean, that has nothing to do with our oath of office. So we need Republicans now who are going to fight for a balanced budget, to repeal Obamacare, who are going to stop this self-serving, parochial earmark culture that we have in Washington, and get our budget back under control.

And I think we're going to do this. Every Republican I know of who's running for the Senate is running on a no earmark pledge and running on balancing our budget, repealing Obamacare.

So we've got a good agenda. And if we have the majority in the House, we can actually lead the agenda and we may not be able to pass everything in the Senate, because of the 60-vote rule, but we can show America what we really stand for.

HANNITY: All right, but we know that Judd Gregg said and suggested that repealing Obamacare may not be a possibility. There were reports earlier today that Bob Corker had said pretty much the same thing. And then he came out with a denial of that comment.

Are you concerned that maybe there are too many moderates in the Republican Party and that they don't have the same passion and commitment to limited government that do you?

DEMINT: Well, I think there are some. There's no doubt about it. And they may be on the chopping block in 2012 if they are not this time. But we can't accept Obamacare because it's built on a government centric platform that's going to destroy the practice of medicine in America and bankrupt our country.

We have to repeal it completely so we can rebuild it around the doctor-patient relationship, and around giving patients more choices of insurance plans that they can afford.

There are lots of good ideas that we had on the table that Obama would not consider. But we cannot go back and tweak Obamacare and expect to fix it. So I'm supporting candidates who are 100 percent for repeal. That's where we have to start.

HANNITY: What do you make of what I call the sore loser Republican syndrome and by that I'm talking about Lisa Murkowski and Mike Castle.

DEMINT: Yes.

HANNITY: Charlie Crist of Florida who saw that he couldn't win in the primary so he ran as an independent.

What do you make of those candidates? A couple of them didn't have the nicest things to say about you, Lisa Murkowski for one. Mike Castle thinks you're very wrong about your viewpoint. That you'd rather lose and have pure conservatives rather than Republicans that are more liberal or, quote, "pragmatic"?

DEMINT: Well, it really reveals who wants the big 10 in the Republican Party. All of the conservatives that I have supported who have lost their primaries are supporting the Republican nominee.

This is not true for the moderates who lose. Arlen Specter left the party, Charlie Crist, and you're seeing the same things with Lisa Murkowski and Mike Castle not stepping up to support the Republican nominee.

They're hurting our party. They don't have room for conservatives. You see me supporting all of our Republican nominees. They may not all be the same as I am as far as how they are going to vote, but the Republican Party is the only option we have this time.

The Democrat Party is to the left of Europe. And what we're trying to do in this election is reshape the Republican Party where it began, a limited government party, less taxes, less spending.

HANNITY: Yes.

DEMINT: And all of the candidates I'm backing are coming in with that pledge.

HANNITY: Well, but you got on board pretty early for guys like Toomey and Rubio and Buck and Rand Paul, and Joe Miller and Christine O'Donnell. And you took a lot of hits for going against the establishment.

Is that an indicator of future events, battles to come?

DEMINT: Well, probably so. I mean, again, I don't want to be in Washington another six years and watch the Republican Party betray the trust of the American people again. I mean, we had the White House. We had a majority in the House and the Senate. And we voted for more spending and more earmarks. Most of our senior members seem to be focused on taking home the bacon.

I'm not going to be in a Republican Party like that. And that's not what the Republican Party is across America.

Right now, Sean, we're seeing America unite -- not just Republicans -- against what's happening in Washington. And they're looking for some good choices. And what I've tried to do and others like Sarah Palin have tried to do is give Republicans and Americans good choices in the primaries, so that on Election Day they can go out and not just vote against someone, they can vote for someone.

HANNITY: You know, it's funny, a lot of people forget Ronald Reagan challenged a sitting president, Gerald Ford for the nomination in 1976. There have been a lot of rumors, there's been a little bit of talk and chatter out there among some that you might be considering yourself a run for president.

Would you consider a run?

DEMINT: No, Sean. I tell you, anyone who really wants to be president right now doesn't know how much trouble our country is in. The next president is going to have to take on some challenges that no president ever has before as far as pulling us away from a financial cliff.

The president is going to have to tell Americans the truth if the federal government has got to do less rather than more. And we're going to have to deconstruct a lot of the wasteful agencies and you're going to have to fight every special interest group in the country.

That's going to be a painful job. And I'm hoping can I find someone who is a lot better than I am to do it.

HANNITY: I don't take that as a no but I'm -- you know, maybe I'm reading into it.

DEMINT: No. I don't plan to run for president, Sean.

HANNITY: All right. Thanks, Senator, for being with us. Appreciate it.

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