Sen. Jim DeMint Explains His Fight Against Obama and Socialism

Sen. Jim DeMint speaks with U.S. News about his new book.


Who is to blame for the economic crisis?

Bad government policy. That doesn't mean there weren't greedy players on Wall Street. But greed is part of human nature. We were trying to do social policy through the financial markets and created a house of cards with these mortgages. What we did with government policy was take the natural accountability out of the system. The risk-reward system was out of balance. You can't blame it on free enterprise.

So deregulation had nothing to do with it?

Well, you can point to a couple of loopholes, but a lot of that goes back to our tax code. And the same thing happened with Enron. We've got such a complicated tax code that people can set up all these subsidiaries to avoid taxes, and that gets back to bad government policy.

Is George W. Bush a socialist for the bailouts?

That was a socialist-leaning idea. I'm not saying he's a socialist. And I'm not calling Obama a socialist, although the policies he's pushing are socialist-leaning. What Bush did is he grew government, he grew dependency on government, and he basically allowed Congress to expand government areas beyond what it had ever done before. Obama's just increased that exponentially.

Why is the GOP polling so badly?

Republicans have just not done what they said they were going to do. People don't trust them. We betrayed the trust of the American people. We made promises of limited government, less spending and debt, and we did the exact opposite. We've got to re-earn that trust.

Will you run for president in 2012?

When you put all your ideas down in a book, you're less likely to be able to endure a campaign—they'll take a lot of things out of context on you. For me, the big battle between socialism and freedom comes down to this healthcare issue.

What do you think?