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U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., declared that Republican control of the U.S. Senate is just as important as the race for the White House this election.

First, DeMint blasted Senate Democrats for doing so little at a time of so many challenges.

“I’ve been in the House and the Senate now for 14 years,” he told WND’s Greg Corombos. “I’ve never seen a year that we have done less with so many important things in front of us.”

DeMint also accused the Democratic leadership of punting critical debates over looming tax increases to a lame-duck Congress.

“We do need to extend the tax rates, and the Republicans have done that in the House, but Harry Reid has not taken that up in the Senate,” DeMint explained. “And the president has said he will not support it unless we increase taxes. We haven’t done anything to address the entitlements of Social Security and Medicare and the Democrat policies have those on a course of bankruptcy. Despite what they say, they’re running those two programs into a ditch.”

He continued, “There are huge cuts scheduled for our military, our defense systems. The president hasn’t led on that at all.”

DeMint isn’t worried about values voters staying home since the economy is dominating the headlines and the campaign messages. He argued that those voters understand that misguided government programs are encouraging troubling patterns like rising out-of-wedlock births and that the national debt is a moral issue all by itself.

“I think values voters also understand that the debt is a moral issue,” he said. “We cannot continue to put this huge burden of debt onto our children and grandchildren. That’s what we’re doing in order to get people re-elected. They keep spending money and making promises that we don’t have the money to keep.”

DeMint added, “The debt is a problem, but the Federal Reserve, what they’re doing now … is printing money, buying debt and that, frankly, is probably more dangerous to our future than even the national debt.”

As a leading tea-party figure, DeMint is optimistic that Republicans can win a majority of Senate seats in November. He explained not only where the GOP can pick up seats currently held by Democrats but also how more conservative Republicans are likely to replace fellow party members who are retiring or were defeated in primaries.

“I really think the Senate is as important as the presidency, and if we don’t get the majority, then it’s going to be very difficult for President Romney to get anything done,” he said. “… As I tell people all over the country: If Republicans get the majority and the presidency, we need to keep our promises this time.”

DeMint is torn over the state of the Senate race in Missouri, where a golden GOP pick-up opportunity is looking much more unlikely. He called embattled Republican nominee Todd Akin “a good man,” but he believes Akin should “consider getting out (of the race) for the good of the country.”

However, if Akin decides to stay in the campaign against Sen. Claire McCaskill, DeMint hopes Republicans will rally behind him.

Finally, DeMint predicts Mitt Romney will defeat President Obama.

Why?

DeMint said, “I can’t imagine that 51 percent of Americans can look at what this president has done and choose to re-elect him.”

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