Texas Patriots PAC Hosts Heritage Foundation's Jim DeMint - Exclusive Interview
The Texas Patriots PAC, located in The Woodlands, Texas, recently hosted an evening with Heritage Foundation President and former U.S. Senator Jim DeMint. He spoke to the group about the current federal government shutdown and the implementation problems associated with ObamaCare. DeMint also discussed border security, illegal immigration and energy related issues with the PAC.
Following the meeting, Senator DeMint sat down with TexasGOPVote for an exclusive interview. The first topic was, of course, our junior senator from Texas, Ted Cruz. I had initially met DeMint at a rally shortly before Cruz won the Republican nomination at a rally hosted by Texas Patriots PAC, which featured former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. DeMint remembered it well stating, "It was a hot day, but it was energetic and it encouraged me that the people of Texas were really engaged in that campaign. Ted has done very well for the state and the country."
I asked DeMint about the current ObamaCare debate and the differences of opinions between our two Texas senators. During WWII, Generals Patton and Montgomery had two very different ideas about the tactics of how the war should be fought. Patton was much more direct in his approach to battle, while Montgomery tended to be more subtle in his approach (if one can be subtle with a battalion of tanks). Both generals had the goal of defeating Hitler, while differing in their tactics. I asked DeMint if Cruz and Cornyn have the same end-game in mind or if there is more than a difference of tactics at play in this skirmish.
DeMint replied, "Well, I think all conservatives want to stop Obamacare. I think you’re right. It’s just a matter of what some people think is possible or practical. Frankly, I do think the odds are against us in a lot of ways except we’ve seen those change dramatically over the last four to six weeks. There are more and more Americans that have found out what this really going to do to them."
"I think this is an issue worth fighting for," DeMint continued, "because I’m really concerned what this is going to do to our country and all the people. We know, those of us who have been in Congress, that the only way to get the president to the table is to not to fund that law. If it’s funded, then it’s all over. I think it’s a fight we need to have. I don’t know where it’ll end up, but hopefully the conservatives will end up on the same page."
A couple of weeks ago I visited the Arizona-Mexico border in Cochise County with Sheriff Mark Dannels. What I found was very disturbing with large sections of virtually no secured border at all. I asked DeMint about where The Heritage Foundation stands on border security. "You don’t have a sovereign country without secure borders," he explained, "and you can’t have an immigration policy if you can’t control who’s coming and going."
Heritage Foundation's Senator Jim DeMint with leaders of The Texas Patriot PAC
DeMint explained further, "Frankly, our refusal as a country to control our southern border has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and a lot of drug trafficking. Human trafficking is a huge problem. I just had someone at this event tell me that there are more slaves in America than there have ever been in history. I have to go back and check those facts, but it really concerns me because it’s our responsibility to control our border. We at The Heritage Foundation believe we should have a secure border that we control. We should have an immigration policy that will bring people here legally that will help our country and help raise the standard of living for Americans."
Human trafficking is a huge problem in America which we have been covering at TexasGOPVote for several years. Brandon Darby, who writes for Breitbart and TexasGOPVote has reported the FBI's refusal to investigate cases in Houston where underage children are involved because of their incentive programs. That changed this week, perhaps because of Darby's pressure, when the FBI raided several local cantinas where underage girls were forced into prostitution.
DeMint responded stating, "Well that’s something that I hope we can help with at Heritage. We need to be talking about it as a problem because I don’t think many people know that’s a problem. They think of border security as just relating to illegal workers, but in fact it’s much much bigger than that. A lot of the violence is related to the drug and human trafficking. It’s not going to get better unless we start taking it seriously."
We moved on to another topic near and dear to our hearts here in Texas, ENERGY! I asked DeMint to talk about The Heritage Foundation's role in promoting energy production and energy independence in America. "We’re working at the state level to get a lot of states to push ahead on their own on private land," DeMint stated. "We’re pushing politics at a state level that would allow states on the eastern seaboard to go after natural gas in the Atlantic off the coast. The more we can develop our own energy, as you know, the more energy independent we can be, but also the more revenue the states and federal government are going to get. That’s going to help our economy and hopefully reduce our debt, lower our taxes."
In a discussion I had earlier in the evening with Texas Railroad Commission Chairman, Barry Smitherman, I learned that the United States is now producing more oil and natural gas than Iraq and Russia. Smitherman, now a candidate for Texas Attorney General, said he had recently had meetings with business leaders and government officials from Germany who are very interested in having the United States become an exporter of natural gas which would be a huge boon to our American trade deficit.
DeMint concluded our discussion on energy by stating, "It’s a huge opportunity for us. Unfortunately, a lot of the growth is going around the federal laws rather than being supported by them. We need to get the president to follow through on the pipelines that would make a lot of sense, like Keystone. Of course, Texas has been a leader for years in energy. We need to make sure that continues with some of the new technology, like fracking and things that have gone beyond that. From every research paper that I’ve seen, it’s safe and good for the environment. It’s certainly good for our country."
After the interview, we discussed illegal immigration and workplace misclassification issues with the Senator. DeMint said he is on record supporting a guest worker program to make it easier for companies to obtain the kind of workers they are not currently able to get through normal hiring practices. DeMint promised to discuss these issues further.