Jim DeMint: Conservatives Win When We Run on Conservative Ideas

Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint praised conservative leaders and activists Friday for espousing policies that help conservative candidates win.

“When Republicans run on bold, positive, conservative ideas, they win,” DeMint said.

DeMint, addressing the crowd at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, reflected on his own days in Congress representing South Carolina, including six years in the House and eight years in the Senate.

“I can tell you, more than a decade of frustration and disappointment by conservatives have led to outright rebellion across America against the status quo here in Washington,” DeMint said, adding:

The whole of Washington—political consultants, the media pundits—have been wrong about what Americans want, and they still don’t get it. Conservatives are sick and tired of business as usual in Washington, and we’re not going to take it anymore.

DeMint, first elected to Congress in 1999, said he decided to run for office to “move dollars and decisions” back to the American people. But, he said, he learned quickly that Republican leaders instead were more concerned with securing votes.

DeMint, who took over The Heritage Foundation in 2013, praised grassroots activists for helping to bring conservative leaders to Washington, D.C., but criticized the GOP for wanting “nothing to do” with them in 2012.

Conservatives, he said, went on to launch a nationwide effort to defund Obamacare in 2013 and helped Republicans take back the House and the Senate during the 2014 midterm elections.

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