Senator Jim DeMint just sent me the statement below on his support for Doug Hoffman. As one of the real leaders of the conservative movement in this country, DeMint speaks for many of us. I’m delighted he is, as he consistently does, putting principle over party in this case.Senator DeMint says:

“Too often, we’re told that Republicans have to be like Democrats to be competitive in states like New York, Pennsylvania and Florida. But the truth is voters don’t want to be forced to pick between two liberals; they want a real choice. If voters want to give Washington more control over our lives, they can always vote for Democrats. Thankfully, Doug Hoffman has stepped forward and offered voters a better choice. Doug is not running as a Republican but he stands for commonsense conservative principles that will give more freedom to New Yorkers and that’s what matters most. Doug supports lower taxes, less spending, and offering Americans more personal control in health care and education. He supports traditional marriage and will fight to protect the unborn. America needs more people like Doug Hoffman, Pat Toomey, and Marco Rubio to run for office and bring real reform to Washington. Americans fundamentally believe in the principles of freedom and liberty, that we as individuals have the responsibility and the right to live our lives without the heavy hand of government on our shoulders. I hope voters in New York will stand with Doug Hoffman and his commitment to fight for these principles of freedom.”

By the way, all these Repubicans racing to stand behind Scozzafava because “freedom doesn’t sell well in NY-23” and “we need a big tent” should read Jim DeMint’s Wall Street Journal op-ed:

To win back the trust of the American people, we must be a “big tent” party. But big tents need strong poles, and the strongest pole of our party — the organizing principle and the crucial alternative to the Democrats — must be freedom. The federal government is too big, takes too much of our money, and makes too many of our decisions. If Republicans can’t agree on that, elections are the least of our problems.