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DeMint: If Obama Is ‘Successful’ on Health Care, ‘It Will Give Him Some Boldness to Go Back to Other Programs’

In a fairly muted online Q&A with Florida U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio — questions were along the lines of “what can we do to stop this health care takeover?” — Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) let the cat out of the bag on the possible effect of a Democratic victory on health care reform.

“If the president is successful,” said DeMint, answering a question about the prospects for cap-and-trade, “I think it will give him some boldness to go back to other programs.”

DeMint, of course, spent some time as the public face of opposition to health care reform after predicting the debate over it would become Obama’s “Waterloo.” If he sounds more pessimistic now, he also reassured his online audience that the Democrats lacked 50 votes for reconciliation and that “the Senate is not going to fix the bill the way they like it.”

Rubio, whom DeMint confidently called the “next senator,” stuck largely to donation appeals and punted on policy questions — he suggested that we’d have been better off had the stimulus failed but Congress passed “some of the alternatives that were floated at the time,” without really getting into what those alternatives were.

DeMint’s eventual answer on energy legislation, by the way, was: “I think the cold weather has been our best friend when it comes to this cap-and-trade scheme.”

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