Although Democrats in Congress willingly gave President Obama “a blank check” to borrow more money last week and most Republicans didn’t, Americans are tired of such partisan fights in Washington and ready to rally around “core ideas,” Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint said this morning on “Face the Nation.”
“America is not nearly as divided as it looks like they are in Washington,” DeMint said at one point.
Host Bob Schieffer of CBS News asked repeatedly whether conservative Republicans and their Tea Party allies would seek to “topple” House Speaker John Boehner following the successful votes in the House and Senate to raise the debt ceiling. DeMint consistently turned the focus back to ordinary Americans.
“I think a lot of Americans who believe in limited government, less spending and debt are concerned that under this president we’ve had more debt than any president in history,” DeMint said. “It’s very possible by the end of his term that he will have allowed more debt than all the presidents before him combined.”
DeMint said last week’s action to raise the debt limit was “a defining vote” in both houses.
“I think it showed that all the Democrats in Congress were completely willing to give the president a blank check to borrow whatever he wanted. Most of the Republicans weren’t. But the Republican leadership, Bob, has figured out either they give the president all that he wants or he’s going to close the government down and blame them.”
Schieffer tried to press DeMint, noting that the former South Carolina senator had founded the Senate Conservatives Campaign Fund and asking about political consequences for “establishment” Republicans. DeMint responded:
“At The Heritage Foundation, our job is to unite the country around a set of ideas. So we’re less involved with really trying to cram anything down the throats of congressmen and senators. We’re on a campaign now, Bob, to unite the country around some core ideas that will make our country stronger and life better and that’s our whole emphasis.”
Schieffer, who mentioned DeMint’s new book “Falling in Love with America Again” in introducing him, asked how satisfactory Republican leadership in Congress has been. The former senator’s reply:
“I will say that a lot of us as conservatives don’t feel like we are well represented in Washington right now, and I think a lot of Americans regardless of political labels feel the same way. I hear it all over the country, and I think that’s why you see a stirring around the country.
“Frankly, people are less interested in the label of Republican and Democrat — and they are tired of that. But they will unite around some principles that will give us a stronger economy, a strong society, a strong America — and those are the things we want to talk about. America is not nearly as divided as it looks like they are in Washington.”
This story was produced by The Foundry’s news team. Nothing here should be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of The Heritage Foundation.