DeMint raises profile with vocal opposition

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Over the past year, U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint has transformed from a relatively unknown Southern Republican into a national champion of conservative activists.

The change has been largely due to his unabashed criticism of President Obama and for his efforts to elect non-establishment candidates in other states.

On Monday, DeMint will bring a main beneficiary of those efforts to South Carolina for a three-city campaign tour dubbed "The Comeback Begins."

Former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio credits DeMint's early support with catapulting his race against Florida Gov. Charlie Crist for an open Senate seat from that state. As of last month, DeMint's Senate Conservatives Fund had raised or spent more than $340,000 on Rubio's campaign.

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