“We must think big, we must act bold. That’s the American way.”
That was the message Jim DeMint, president of The Heritage Foundation and former South Carolina senator, shared with thousands of Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, attendees Thursday morning.
DeMint covered a wide array of issues, including the importance of fulfilling campaign promises, repealing Obamacare, restoring religious liberty, securing our nation’s borders, and reforming the tax code.
Republicans must tackle these issues in spite of rampant resistance from the left, according to DeMint.
DeMint said the demonstrators aren’t “protesting policy, they are protesting an election outcome.”
Despite historic Republican and conservative wins last November, DeMint warned the audience that “Washington is extremely good at lowering expectations.”
“All the guardians of the swamp are already whispering in the ears of Republicans, in the Congress and in the White House, telling them not to keep their promises,” DeMint said.
He went on to describe that Republicans are receiving constant pressure to adopt the status quo:
They’re saying you can’t build a wall and control our borders. You have to give amnesty and citizenship to the people who are here illegally. They’re saying you can’t repeal Obamacare. Tax reform is just too controversial. You can’t ever balance the budget. And of course, you must reopen the big, crony, corrupt Export-Import Bank. That’s what [Republicans] are hearing behind closed doors right now.
With all of this opposition behind closed doors, DeMint said to the audience: “Our job as conservatives, and as the national conservative movement, is to make possible what the establishment says is impossible.”
DeMint specifically cited religious liberty and health care as areas that require immediate action, saying, “We’ve got to reverse eight years of abuse on religious liberty.”
Although many on the left and the right support a replacement of Obamacare, according to DeMint, he emphasized the need for repeal and restoration of a market-based health care system.
“Before Obamacare, America had the best health care system in the world,” DeMint said.
DeMint closed with a note of optimism, saying, “Let’s keep dreaming impossible dreams, because in America everything is possible.”
CPAC, the largest annual national gathering of conservative activists, runs from Wednesday to Saturday at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside Washington.