Murkowski and DeMint: Bygones

Lisa Murkowski is still miffed that Jim DeMint backed Republican Joe Miller against her in the general election.

Jim DeMint and Lisa Murkowski aren’t on the best of terms.

If Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) is interested in apologizing to Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R), he’ll have to make the first move, Murkowski said Friday.

The Alaska senator, who appears poised to win reelection as a write-in GOP candidate for Senate, suggested she’s not eager to reach out to DeMint, who backed her challenger Joe Miller in the Alaska Senate race.

DeMint, who has said he and Murkowski might have “some making up to do” if she wins reelection, would have to act first.

“He has suggested that he’s got some making up to do,” Murkowski told CNN’s “John King, USA” in an interview to air this evening. “I’ll let him make that first move.”

One could understand the animosity had DeMint backed Miller in the primaries.  Murkowski was, after all, a member of the Republican leadership in the Senate before losing the primary and staging a write-in campaign.  But DeMint had little real choice but to back the winner of the Republican primary, much less one who is legitimately more conservative on the issues than Murkowski.

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James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. He didn’t, however, have to strip her of her committee positions before the end of her term.

  2. Oh, and Demint DID back Miller during the primary. Last week he also made the maximum possible donation to Miller’s legal defense fund, so he apparently wants to help Miller overturn the election results if possible.

  3. James Joyner says:

    He didn’t strip her of her committee positions. There was discussion of that but it didn’t happen.

    And it’s not shocking that the Republicans are backing the Republican candidate in the recount process. My guess is they’ll soon push Miller aside once the outcome is obvious, in order to preserve his future viability.

  4. Actually, there was a vote and DeMint’s side lost. But he’s been very vocal about what he thinks should have been done.

  5. (there was a vote on yanking her committee slots, I mean)