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Demint Defends: Senator Says Tea Party Did Not Cost GOP Senate Seats

"That is a very silly thing to say."

WASHINGTON (AP) — South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint says he hopes fellow Republicans heed the call of tea party and give the grass-roots activists credit for last week's election gains.

He also says the campaign of the GOP's White House nominee in 2012 should be based on repealing President Barack Obama's health care law.

DeMint says Republicans — who just won control of the House — should make every effort to withhold money to help put the law into practice.

DeMint's political action committee helped tea party candidates in Tuesday's election. He's also crediting Sarah Palin, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for inspiring tea partiers.

DeMint appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press."

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