South Carolina's Tea-bag Senator Vows to Stay Neutral in McCain/ Hayworth Showdown

A South Carolina senator, arguably the biggest tea-bag in the conservative "Tea Party" movement, says he will remain neutral in the Arizona Senate race, where John McCain is squaring off with conservative darling J.D. Hayworth.

Senator Jim Demint told Fox News' Gregg Jarrett this morning that he is not taking a side in the primary race, which is probably good news for McCain, who is often deemed by conservatives as not conservative enough to represent Arizona.

Hayworth, on the other hand, seems like the perfect candidate for the teabaggers.


A few weeks ago, Hayworth admitted to Chris Mathews that he was about one click left of a "birther" -- a term designated for folks who believe President Obama is not a U.S. citizen and are often as far right in American politics as possible, without being Klansmen.

Demint and his fellow teabaggers could have spelled real trouble for the McCain camp, as the movement now has loads of cash to spend on "taking back the country" and has supported non-incumbent, Republican candidates in primary races in other areas.

Demint and the teabaggers have dropped what Fox News describes as a "money bomb" on Marco Rubio, running in a Republican primary for a Florida Senate seat. Also running in that race is Florida's Mesa-hating Governor Charlie Crist, who is the projected front-runner, and like McCain, a more moderate Republican.

Hayworth is yet to formally announce his candidacy in the primary, but after quitting his radio show, he said he would make his formal announcement on February 15. We'll have to see if not getting any love from the teabaggers affects Hayworth's decision.

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James King
Contact: James King