WASHINGTON — Sen. Jim DeMint is about to have a whole lot of people praying for him.
The Family Research Council, an influential group with large followings among conservatives and evangelical Christians, announced a nationwide initiative Wednesday to persuade 1 million people to pray for the South Carolina Republican.
Tony Perkins, head of the Washington-based organization, said DeMint has been unfairly blamed for having cost Republicans control of the Senate by backing ultraconservative candidates who lost several key general election races last week.
“To those of us who know and admire Senator Jim DeMint, these recent attacks on his character have been difficult to stomach,” Perkins said in his daily email newsletter to supporters.
Perkins said DeMint, who sailed to re-election last week over Democrat Alvin Greene, had inspired countless conservative voters who might otherwise not have cast ballots.
“When the establishment failed to energize the base with its moderate platform, Senator DeMint became a crusader for principled conservatism that reached beyond the GOP,” Perkins said.
“We want the men and women from both parties to know that an attack on Senator DeMint is an attack on all conservatives and people of faith,” he said.
His group, Perkins said, “is gathering together one million Americans to pray on a regular basis for Senator DeMint.”
DeMint spokesman Wesley Denton said the senator welcomes the initiative.
“Senator DeMint is humbled by the support of South Carolinians and others from around the country,” Denton said. “He’s proud to fight for the millions of Americans who support constitutional, limited government.”