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S.C. Senator Tom Davis – a Tea Party favorite and one of the S.C. General Assembly’s leading fiscal conservatives – blasted Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in no uncertain terms during a rally for U.S. Rep. Ron Paul in Florida this week.

“Ben Bernanke is a traitor – a dictator,” Davis told a cheering throng of limited government supporters at the Ron Paul rally, which was held in Tampa in advance of the 2012 Republican National Convention.  “He’s rotting out our Republic.”

Davis went on to say that Bernanke was “destroying our liberty, destroying our economic freedom” and that he “has to be stopped.”

Damn …

“I was there. It was powerful,” wrote one observer at The Daily Paul. “This, besides the speech of the good doctor, was the highlight of the day.”

Take a look …

(Click to play)

Of course Davis’ remarks quickly drew jeers from insiders back home.

“Sad stuff calling a man a traitor for political gain,” said S.C. Rep. Leon Stavrinakis (D-Charleston).

“That was stupid,” a prominent GOP political consultant added.

Davis is rumored as a likely GOP primary challenger to U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham or S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley in 2014.  In fact at one point during his speech he made a reference to Graham being defeated in the next election.

“In 2014 we’re going to elect a new U.S. Senator to replace Lindsey Graham,” he said.

Will he be that replacement?  Davis told reporter Gina Smith of The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper that he is focusing on the 2013 legislative session but that “I hope someone takes him on in 2014.”

The former chief of staff to S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford, Davis was elected to the State Senate in 2008 – defeating an incumbent “Republican in Name Only.”  Since then he has aggressively championed long-overdue fiscal and structural reforms to state government – including the creation of a taxpayer rebate fund. He’s also been among the most vocal critics of taxpayer-funded “economic development” incentives that have shifted the state’s tax burden onto small businesses.

Davis was the first major Palmetto political figure to endorse Ron Paul’s candidacy in advance of South Carolina’s “First in the South” presidential primary.  Paul finished fourth in the state this year, but expanded his support more than five-fold from 2008.

UPDATE: Davis’ remark has been picked up by The Los Angeles Times.