POLITICS
05/24/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

DeMint: 'We Have Not Yet Begun To Fight'

Jim DeMint, the tactician who led Senate Republicans in unanimous opposition to health care reform, declared early on that a defeat for Obama would be his "Waterloo."

With the major piece of it signed into law, and with the Senate beating back GOP amendments aimed at thwarting the reconciliation corrections, HuffPost asked DeMint to reflect on whose Waterloo it might be.

"We have not yet begun to fight. I'll put it that way," said DeMint (R-S.C.). "We're going to see in November really who wins this battle and I think it's going to be the American people."

What about the poll showing the American people taking a shine to the legislation?

"I saw that one poll. I don't know how that question was asked," he said. "I don't know where they're getting that, because I've been, in the last month, in Florida and Pennsylvania and Ohio and South Carolina and people who are normally not even involved in politics are just angry as the dickens and afraid for their country."

DeMint noted, off the top of his head, that a separate poll found that 62 percent of Americans wanted Republicans to continue to fight. And fight they will.

"People are angry as the dickens that the Democrats didn't listen; they stuffed it down their throat; they think they're stupid, that they don't know all of this double-counting and everything," said DeMint.

DeMint spoke shortly before Midnight and said that Democratic leaders had told him his amendments were likely to come up between two and four a.m.

Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), said Reid had every intention of proceeding through the night. The advancing age of many of the senators, however, may require a break at some point, given that GOP points of order are expected to follow the amendment process.

DeMint, for his part, said Republicans were willing to help shorten the process. "A lot of us have similar amendments, so we're looking to thin that out," said DeMint.