Jim DeMint

Jim DeMint: Primary Republicans who don’t defund ObamaCare

Jim DeMint, the former Senator from South Carolina turned President of the Heritage Foundation, says that Republicans who won’t vote to defund ObamaCare next month should be primaried and replaced:

Former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) on Monday night urged voters to replace any Republican lawmaker unwilling to vote to defund ObamaCare during next month’s budget showdown.

DeMint, the president of the Heritage Foundation, dismissed fears that Republicans would be blamed for a government shutdown, as they were in the 1990s.

“The risk of that is so much less than the risk to our country if we implement ObamaCare, and so I’m not as interested in the political futures of folks who think they might lose a showdown with the president,” DeMint said at a town-hall meeting hosted by Heritage Action, the think tank’s political arm, in Fayetteville, Ark., the first stop on a nine-city tour.
“I think [President Obama] knows that Republicans are afraid, and if they are, they need to be replaced,” DeMint told NPR in an interview after the event.

The Heritage Foundation and its political arm, Heritage Action for America, are part of a strong conservative grassroots effort to defund ObamaCare amid concerns from establishment Republicans that it would be a political loser because the inevitable result would be a government shutdown, which they fear could cost them in next year’s mid-term election.

Cruz Receives Praise from an Unlikely Source

James Carville, a Democratic strategist who is known for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaigns, apparently likes what he sees from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), though he doesn’t agree with him on politics.

During the roundtable on ABC’s This Week, Carville said Cruz is the “most talented and fearless politician I’ve seen in the last 30 years.” While he didn’t specifically mention Ronald Reagan’s name, that is inferred from the comments made.

“People love Ted Cruz because he’s taken on his own party, his own leadership, he’s taken on the other party,” explained Jim DeMint, a former Senator turned President of the Heritage Foundation. “He’s trying to rock the boat to get us to stop moving towards this cliff we’re heading for as a country. I’ve been in about 25 cities in the last few months. All you have to do is mention Ted Cruz and people get on their feet.”

“I think he is the most talented and fearless Republican politician I’ve seen in the last 30 years,” added Carville. “I further think that he’s going to run for president and he is going to create something. I’m not sitting here saying he’s going to win, and I think Senator DeMint is right. I’ve listened to excerpts of his speech in South Carolina, he touches every button. And this guy has no fear. He just keeps plowing ahead. And he is going to be something to watch.”

Carville wasn’t done there. When discussing debates for the Republican presidential nomination, Mary Matlin explained that the dynamics could be interesting, to which Carville said, “And I’m telling you, get in there, Ted Cruz is going to each their lunch,” adding later that he doesn’t agree with him on policy or politics.

Jim DeMint on the Future of Conservatism

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SC Gov. Nikki Haley will appoint Tim Scott

Tim Scott

After days of speculation, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will introduce Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) as her appointment to fill the United States Senate seat left vacant by Jim DeMint, who resigned earlier this month to run the Heritage Foundation.

Scott, who was elected to Congress in 2010 on a Tea Party platform, will bring a unique perspective to the Senate. Politico noted Scott’s personal story earlier this month, explaining how he worked his way out of poverty to become a successful small-business man, local politician and eventual congressman.”

In in nearly two years in the House, Scott has proven his conservative bonafides, receiving solid scores from influential groups — including a 96% from the American Conservative Union; 92% from the Club for Growth; 93% from FreedomWorks; and 84% from the National Taxpayers Union. More importantly, grassroots activists are keen on him.

Appointing Tim Scott could help Nikki Haley

Nikki Haley

There is no question that South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has an important decision to make in who will succeed and finish the remainder of Jim DeMint’s term. However, there is an aspect to the appointment that hasn’t gotten much, if any, attention.

In 2010, Haley rode the Tea Party wave all the way to Columbia. Early on in her campaign, Erick Erickson wrote that Haley “gets checks in all the major boxes: life, tax cutting, government cutting, honesty, and uncompromising on the need to reform.”

She is not afraid, even as an elected official, to criticize her own party for losing its way. That’s the type of candidate the Republicans need,” he added.

Unfortunately, Haley’s record in office has been disappointing. In her first year, Haley proposed the largest spending increase in state history (including federal funds). In its biannual Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors, which grades state executives on spending and taxes, the Cato Institute noted that Haley oversaw an 11% spending increase in just two fiscal years.

SC Gov. Nikki Haley will not appoint a placeholder for Senate seat

Nikki Haley

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced today on Facebook that she will not appoint a placeholder for the Senate seat left vacant by Jim DeMint, who resigned on Thursday to serve as President of the Heritage Foundation.

As I continue to consider the impending U.S. Senate vacancy, many have discussed the possibility of a ‘placeholder’ appointee who would pledge to serve for only two years and not seek election to the seat in 2014. While there are some good arguments in favor of that approach, I believe the better case is against it.

I do not want to tie the next U.S. Senator from South Carolina’s hands regarding future office. I do not want to deprive our state’s citizens of the chance to render their judgment on the appointee’s performance by way of their vote. Most importantly, while I am an avid supporter of term limits, I do not want the effectiveness of our state’s new U.S. Senator to be undermined by the fact that he or she will automatically be leaving the office such a very short time after assuming it.

I believe South Carolina will be best served by a U.S. Senator who will work hard day in and day out, and put him or herself before the voters at the soonest possible time. Accordingly, I reject the option of a ‘placeholder.’

What does Jim DeMint’s move to Heritage mean for the Freedom Movement

Jim DeMint

Since Jim DeMint resigned his Senate seat on Thursday to run the Heritage Foundation, there has been a lot of discussion about the the future of the conservative movement. Many conservatives are excited, a sentiment perhaps best summed up by Erick Erickson. They believe that DeMint will be free to say what he wants, no longer being pressured or restrained by leadership. Indeed, DeMint did just that on Thursday during an interview on CNN, telling Wolf Blitzer that he’s “not with Boehner,” who called for increased tax revenues in his counter-proposal to the White House. “This government doesn’t need any more money, this country needs less government,” said DeMint.

Other conservatives have used the news to take some shots at DeMint. For example, Jennifer Rubin slammed DeMint, writing, “He’s a pol whose entire style of conservatism –  all or nothing, no compromise, no accounting for changes in public habits and opinions — is not true to the tradition of Edmund Burke, Russell Kirk and others.”

Potential Tim Scott U.S. Senate appointment is gaining steam

Tim Scott

Jim DeMint’s abrupt depature from the United States Senate yesterday is opening a door for Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC), a member of the 2010 Tea Party class.

While there are other names being floated as a potential replacement, it’s thought that DeMint, who resigned from the Senate to head the Heritage Foundation, wants South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to appoint Scott to succeed him:

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has made it known in South Carolina that he wants Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) to replace him in the Senate, two state Republican sources tell The Hill.

The sources, requesting anonymity to speak candidly, say Scott is DeMint’s preference for the seat, though the final decision will be Gov. Nikki Haley’s (R). She will appoint someone to serve in DeMint’s place after he officially resigns from the Senate to take over the conservative Heritage Foundation in January. An election for the seat will then be held in 2014 for the remaining two years of the term.

Haley and Scott have a good relationship, according to sources, though it’s unclear how willing she would be to listen to DeMint, who officially stayed neutral during her gubernatorial primary but quietly supported then-Rep. Gresham Barrett (R-S.C.) in the race.

A spokesman for DeMint denied that the senator has pushed Scott.

Who’ll replace Jim DeMint?

Tim Scott

With Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) leaving the Senate to lead the Heritage Foundation, the speculation on who South Gov. Nikki Haley will appoint to replace him is already churning.

The dynamics here are interesting. Because of his willingness to raise taxes, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is a likely target for primary challenge in 2014. Many names have already been tossed around, but a vacancy shakes that up a bit because Haley could appoint one of Graham’s strongest challengers to replace DeMint, taking a strong challenger out of the mix, or even pick a placeholder.

There was talk this morning that Haley could just appoint herself, but FitsNews has shot down that idea, explaining, “she would first have to resign the governor’s office, meaning that S.C. Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell would technically have to make that appointment.” And because the two apparently have a contentious relationship, McConnell appointing her would be unlikely.

Over at National Review, Jim Geraghty has a good rundown of names being mentioned as potential candidates to replace DeMint:

Governor Nikki Haley is going to have a lot of options to choose from in the coming days or weeks:

Jim DeMint leaves the Senate to lead the Heritage Foundation

Jim DeMint

There is a lot of hullabaloo today in the conservative movement. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), perhaps the most conservative member of the Senate, has resigned his seat this morning to succeed Ed Fuelner as President of the Heritage Foundation, the leading conservative think tank:

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has resigned from the Senate to take over the conservative Heritage Foundation.

DeMint’s decision to leave the Senate after only eight years shocked Washington. DeMint had been seen as a future Senate leader for his party and was already a leader to a growing number of conservatives in the House and Senate.

“It’s been an honor to serve the people of South Carolina in the United States Senate for the past eight years, but now it’s time for me to pass the torch to someone else and take on a new role in the fight for America’s future,” DeMint said in a statement explaining his resignation.

“I’m leaving the Senate now, but I’m not leaving the fight. I’ve decided to join the Heritage Foundation at a time when the conservative movement needs strong leadership in the battle of ideas. No organization is better equipped to lead this fight and I believe my experience in public office as well as in the private sector as a business owner will help Heritage become even more effective in the years to come.”

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