Capitol Hill conservatives – shocked at Jim DeMint's expected ouster as Heritage Foundation president – are reportedly circulating a letter urging the board of trustees to keep the former senator from South Carolina at the helm.
"We think they'll be hard-pressed to find someone who can do better than him," an unnamed source told the N.Y. Post. "It's really a loss for them. You have someone who was in the Senate who could pick up the phone and call [Sens. Ted] Cruz [R-Texas] or [Marco] Rubio [R-Fla.] whenever he wanted. I'm not sure anyone who replaces him could do that overnight."
DeMint left the Senate to head the conservative think tank in 2012; his contract is due to expire at the end of this year. According to the Post, DeMint is likely to resign but is not ruling out the possibility he will force the board to terminate him "so he can have a legal claim."
The Post reported an extension was expected on DeMint's contract until Mike Needham, who heads the conservative think tank's political apparatus, "initiated a coup" last week. A second source told the Post former Heritage president and co-founder Ed Feulner has been "grooming Needham to take over." Feulner is slated to become interim president once DeMint departs, the Post reported.
Republicans on Capitol Hill who have signed the letter to the Heritage board include Rubio, Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, as well as Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas.
The letter was co-written by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Republican Study Committee's chairman, Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., the Post reported.
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