DeMint raises profile as outspoken conservative
Over the past year, U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint has morphed from a relatively unknown Southern Republican into a national champion of conservative activists.It came about largely through his unabashed criticism of President Obama and his efforts to elect non-establishment candidates in other states.On Monday, he will bring a beneficiary of those efforts to South Carolina for a three-city campaign tour dubbed "The Comeback Begins."Former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, 38, credits DeMint's early support with catapulting him into a strong position in his Senate race against Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.As of last month, DeMint's Senate Conservatives Fund had raised or spent more than $340,000 on Rubio's campaign. A Quinnipiac University Poll in January showed Rubio edging ahead of Crist among Republicans. That's a striking change from last May, when Rubio trailed Crist by 46 percentage points.