Fox News host Glenn Beck’s arch-nemesis is progressivism. He calls the movement the “poison in our Republic” and has accused it of genocide. In addition to attacking Democrats, Beck often condemns of Republicans he deems to be “progressive,” including Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
On his radio show today, Beck hosted Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) — “one of the only people I trust in Washington.” DeMint has capitalized on the Tea Party movement to position himself as a right-wing kingmaker. Beck asked DeMint whether he would support his colleague John McCain in his tough primary fight against former right-wing congressman J.D. Hayworth. DeMint demurred and even threatened to oppose his party’s former presidential nominee:
BECK: I’m convinced that John McCain is going the one of the guys who pushes through a health care compromise. And I don’t want any health care through the federal government. Because you know and I know senator that they’re going to build this damn machine whether we like it or not, and they’re going to build it one piece at a time and a Progressive like John McCain will help them build it.
DEMINT: Well, I’m not going to get involved with this race in Arizona. And if John McCain goes with this health care bill, I’ll be his biggest opponent and I think he knows that. But I don’t know that he’s going to do that. But what we’re trying to do is get some new senators from around this country who will stand with us on these key issues.
BECK: This is great news to me. So you are not endorsing him or helping him in Arizona?
DEMINT: No I’m not. I’m not getting involved with — I know J.D. well, and they can have their own race.
Though Beck has often said that he’ll never endorse candidates, he clearly seems to be whipping DeMint to oppose McCain. DeMint has built a powerful organization to fund and support right-wing Senate candidates in GOP primaries and appears eager for Beck’s backing. DeMint is a frequent guest of Beck’s and repeatedly thanked him during today’s appearance for the “opportunity” to talk up his stable of conservative candidates.
On Marco Rubio, who is running for the Republican nomination for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat, DeMint assured Beck that he doesn’t have a “Progressive bone in his body” and is the “real thing” who “stands up for the principles that you talk about everyday, Glenn.”
It’s not unusual for Beck to condemn McCain, but it’s surprising to see a sitting senator condone Beck’s world view and publicly threaten to oppose his colleague for compromising with the other side.