Sen. Jim DeMint vowed Thursday to stop Lisa Murkowski's write-in candidacy "dead in its tracks" as he expressed outrage at the GOP's refusal to strip the senator of her leadership role on the energy committee.
The South Carolina Republican supports Joe Miller, a conservative political upstart who upset Murkowski in last month's GOP primary.
DeMint said he believed Wednesday's meeting of GOP senators was to choose a replacement for Murkowski, the ranking member on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. But "one senator after another stood up to argue in favor of protecting her place on the committee," he said - resulting in an outcome he said she'll undoubtedly use in her campaign against Miller.
The committee's work is of special importance to Alaska, which relies heavily on oil and other resources to run. And Murkowski has touted her seniority as a reason for sending her back to Washington.
"It was bad enough to watch my colleagues work to support her in the primary after she had built a record of betraying conservative principles," he wrote. "But watching them back her after she left the party and launched a campaign against the Republican nominee was more than I could bear."