Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is proof that the Republican Party “does not have to change our principles to attract Hispanics, African Americans, single women, moms,” new Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint tells Newsmax TV.
“I’m real proud of Marco Rubio, very thankful for the people of Florida, and, really, people all over the country who got behind his campaign,” DeMint, the former South Carolina GOP senator who left Congress on Dec. 31, tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview.
DeMint takes over the influential conservative think tank in April. He was interviewed by Newsmax with Edwin Feulner, the foundation’s outgoing president and a founding trustee.
“He’s a great example of what our country needs — and if the Republican Party is smart, and apparently they are, to make him the spokesperson, he can begin that process of reaching out,” DeMint says of Rubio.
“The idea of freedom, opportunity, prosperity, success is a common denominator. But we have to make sure people understand what we’re talking about — and we can’t talk to them in political terms.”
Rubio, who delivered the official Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech — in both English and Spanish — has had major roles in several plans for comprehensive immigration reform that have been put forward in recent weeks.
Besides his own plan, Rubio is one of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” — four Republicans and four Democrats each — who also have suggested an immigration reform agenda.
Feulner says any immigration effort must ensure that the nation’s borders are protected and then must address the plight of the more than 12 million people who are in the United States illegally.
“It’s really a piece-by-piece, step-by-step approach that we’re talking about — and we at the Heritage Foundation have done a lot of research on that with some best and brightest minds around.”
Editor's Note: Read the full interview with Jim DeMint:
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