Former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, the president of the Heritage Foundation, has been spending several days in Raleigh this week, in an effort to expand the outreach efforts of the Washington-based think tank.
DeMint wants the Heritage Foundation to become more engaged in communicating conservative ideas outside the traditional party framework.
“We have the ideas that work – that make life better for people,” DeMint said in an interview Wednesday. “We have more and more states that are implementing these ideas whether they be tax reform or various types of education reform like we are seeing here in North Carolina. We have good data that shows it works.''
DeMint said he left the Senate – where he was regarded as a leader of the Tea Party movement – because he believes that conservatives have not yet figured out how to communicate with the American people. With his background in marketing and advertising, DeMint said he wants to find ways to continue to develop policy papers to lawmakers – but do a better job of communicating.
In Raleigh, DeMint met with various groups and individuals who he hopes will join with the Heritage Foundation in pushing ideas.
At a meeting with businessmen at the Cardinal Club in downtown Raleigh, DeMint said he was asked to talk about politics. But he said he asked, “No what do you really care about? And then words like family, faith and happiness and security and fulfillment and satisfaction came up as what life is about./p>
“What I want to do is step outside the political structure, which is very negative and poisonous, and just talk citizen to citizen and neighbor to neighbor and find common ground,'' DeMint added. “We have to unite America.''
He said Heritage is partnering with more than 60 policy groups including the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh and dozens of like-minded groups. He hopes to use social media and other ways to get their message out.