Jim DeMint

A Little About U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Our 2013 Gala Speaker

Now that we've announced our 2013 Annual Gala keynote speaker, here's what people are saying and writing about him:

(He is) someone conservatives can count on to fight for the principles of freedom. ...

- Former Senator Jim DeMint, President of Heritage Foundation

A great Reaganite hope

- National Review

But those are from conservatives. Based on this quote from the Mainstream Media, we know he's our kind of guy:

(He) is too extreme, too uncompromising and too unlikable to mount a national following.

- USA Today

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz burst onto the national stage by overcoming great odds and winning the 2012 Republican U.S. Senate primary in Texas — first, overcoming a multi-millionaire, self-financed "moderate" to finish second, then defeating the hand-picked establishment choice in the run-off, and finally winning the general election handily against a Democrat who tired to portray him as "extreme."

Taking that path, you wouldn't think he's an ordinary freshman senator. He's not. He quickly become a target of the media and secular left for his principled stands and for speaking out, not only against members of the opposition party and leadership, but against members of his own party and its leadership.

A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, he served as Solicitor General of Texas, fighting for and defending constitutional principles in court, and earning a name for himself as a passionate and articulate fighter for our liberties. He is the son of a Cuban immigrant who fought in the revolution, was imprisoned and tortured, then came to the U.S. with next to nothing. With a family history and experience with the evils of an absolute government, Senator Cruz understands the value of liberty and the principles of faith that make it possible.

Ted Cruz

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas stands on principle, no matter if it upsets

Democrats or Republicans, the Senate leadership or all of the above.

In addition to Senator Cruz' keynote speech, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will make special remarks. So we hope you are able to join us at our Annual Gala Saturday, October 5, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Dinner starts at 6:45. A special reception for sponsors starts 5:45. For more information, including tickets, sponsorships, overnight accommodations and more, click here.

So that's a little about Senator Ted Cruz — for now. But we will continue to provide updates on the Gala, reveal our emcee and entertainment, and share more highlights from Senator Cruz' outstanding career. Be sure to look for these updates here and our Facebook and Twitter platforms.

Cut, Cap And Balance; Or, How Come Crazy Spending Is Never Called "Draconian"?

Earlier tonight I saw U.S. Representative Janice Schakowsky (D-Ill.), one of the biggest and most far-reaching leftists in Congress, on CNN's Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. (She's so far to the left that she doesn't think ObamaCare went far enough and supports the government-run single-payer system — click here to see her gleefully expound on the end of private insurance.) Mr. Blitzer asked Representative Schakowsky about the proposal known as "Cut, Cap and Balance" (see Tom McClusky at FRCAction's The Cloakroom Blog) to solve the impending debt ceiling crisis. Cut, Cap and Balance is the plan put forth by a coalition of members of Congress and conservative, free market and limited government think tanks and action groups that would cut federal spending, cap those levels, and pass to the states for ratification a constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget. (Click here to see an archived webcast on "Cut, Cap and Balance" featuring U.S. Senator Jim DeMint, R-S.C., among other leading limited government proponents.) Ms. Schakowsky's predictable response perfectly illustrated the vacuousness and illegitimacy of The Left. First, she called it a joke (probably knowing her solution can't be called a joke, because it's more like a horror movie). But the real laugh came when she said "Cut, Cap and Balance" would force "Draconian cuts."

That got me thinking . . . how come the term "Draconian spending" or "Draconian increases" is never used? Or is a $1.5 trillion increase in one year not scary? How bad off were we two years ago when the annual federal budget was "only" $2.25 trillion? Where was the suffering then that The Left says we'll have tomorrow if we adopt "Cut, Cap and Balance"? Could it get worse than 9.2 percent unemployment? These Draconian spending increases don't even take into account the unimaginable sums ObamaCare will cost in future years (see ObamaCare Lies). The amount of printing, borrowing and spending in Washington, D.C., is literally crazy, because no one in a proper frame of mind would put their future or their children's and grandchildren's future at such risk.

Tomorrow, the House of Representatives will vote on the "Cut, Cap and Balance" package (see Andrew Stiles at NRO's The Corner Blog). It will pass. But what of its future in the Senate? Will it even get a vote? Or will it vote for what Representative Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) calls, "Cut, Run and Hide," also known as Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's pass-the-buck plan (see Alexander Bolton at TheHill.com)?

Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins offers his thoughts here and encourages people to contact their senators to vote for the former and to defeat the latter (click here to contact Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner):

Unfortunately, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) offered last week a plan to surrender. It would allow the President to lift the debt ceiling and only allow Congress a vote to stop it if it could garner a super majority. No cuts, no reforms, the McConnell plan is supposedly aimed at laying the political blame on the President. But when Senator Harry Reid immediately calls McConnell's plan "serious," one should question its wisdom.

With President Obama cynically leading from behind on this grave issue (read Senator DeMint's statement issued earlier this evening and that issued by House Speaker John Boehner), which has the potential to send the nation into a Greece-like morass, further debilitating our ability to lead the world and relegating America to also-ran status, it is time to take sound, firm and lasting action. "Cut, Cap and Balance" is the way to do it (see Brian Darling at The Heritage Foundation's The Foundry Blog). The Left may caricature it while making the nonchalant spending of trillions seem normal. But we all know the definition of doing the same failed thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

"Cut, Cap and Balance" is gaining momentum: 178 organizations and more than 190,000 citizens have signed the pledge.

After The Vote, What's Next? Watch FRC Action Roundtable Discussion!

Thursday morning, FRC Action hosted a live Webcast roundtable discussion on the meaning of Tuesday's election results. It now is archived online, free, for convenient viewing. The panel included FRC Action President Tony Perkins (who issued this statement upon President Obama's post-election news conference, saying the president still doesn't get it), Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), former Senator Rick Santorum, Skyline Church Pastor Dr. Jim Garlow, pollster Kellyanne Conway, FRC Action PAC President Connie Mackey and FRC Action's Senior Vice President Tom McClusky.

Topics discussed included:

» Do the elections signify a turn toward conservative social concerns?

» What messages were the voters sending to the leaders of both parties?

» Who will be the new chairmen of powerful congressional committees?

» What's next for legislation on the state level?

»What do the election results mean for the repeal of ObamaCare?

The Webcast lasts about an hour and is worth every minute. We hope you take the opportunity to hear these unique perspectives from people from various backgrounds and professions about the election, what it all means and where we go from here.

Click here to watch FRC Action's election analysis program: "After the Vote: What's Next?"

Gala Speaker Mike Pence Wins Presidential Straw Poll At Values Voter Summit!

We've been making the case that our 25th Anniversary Gala speaker, Congressman Mike Pence (R-Ind.), is one of the leading conservatives in America. Well respected by his colleagues and those in the conservative media, his star is shining brightly among the grassroots now, too, as Saturday he won the closely watched Values Voter Summit Presidential Straw Poll with 24 percent of the vote over 17 potential candidates (see Politico.com). The 2,000 summit attendees voted (see Outside The Beltway's Doug Mataconis) last year's gala speaker, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, second. The others who received votes in the straw poll, in alphabetical order, were Haley Barbour, Jan Brewer, Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels, Jim DeMint, Newt Gingrich, Bobby Jindal, Bob McDonnell, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum and John Thune.

This year's gala not only will be a chance to hear one of the leaders and intellectual forces behind the conservative movement, but also to share in the celebration of 25 years of fighting the good fight for traditional and family values. Already, more than 900 people have bought tickets to the event (nearing last year's record), and you will want to see for yourself why Congressman Pence is so respected by thousands of conservative grassroots leaders and activists from around the nation.

This very special Family Foundation event, one that will be remembered long after it is over, is Saturday, October 9, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center at 6:30 (5:15 sponsors reception with Congressman Pence). To order your tickets or for sponsorship information, get complete details here, e-mail us at Gala@FamilyFoundation.org, or call The Family Foundation at (804) 343-0010.

See the speech that drove Values Voter Summit attendees to vote Mike Pence its 2012 presidential favorite:

Pence, commonsense and common values: "Those who would have us ignore the battle being fought over life, marriage and religious liberty, have forgotten the lessons of history. As in the days of a house divided, America's darkest moments have come when economic arguments trumped moral principles."

Watch Values Voter Summit Live Free, Now Through Saturday!

Today and Saturday, beginning at 8:00 a.m., FRC Action is partnering with the American Family Association for a live Webcast from the 2010 Values Voter Summit. The free Webcast will feature all the action from the ballroom of the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. Watch live as our stellar lineup of speakers address the critical issues facing our country today. The speaker lineup is impressive and includes our Virginia's own, Governor Bob McDonnell and our 25th Anniversary Gala speaker, Congressman Mike Pence (R-Ind.), chairman of the House GOP Conference, as well as:

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Dr. Bill Bennett, Ken Blackwell, The Duggar Family, Sean Hannity, David Limbaugh, Mike Huckabee, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Delaware Republican U.S. Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and many more respected defenders of conservative, traditional values.

View the Webcast online beginning at 8:00 a.m. each day at  ValuesVoterSummit.org. Watch live what you'll read about in the headlines later. After the summit concludes, many of the highlights and speeches are archived, so be sure to return to ValuesVoterSummit.org next week to see matters of interest that you may miss during the weekend.

Jim DeMint Learns Putting Principle First Is Praiseworthy Except When You're Conservative

Party or principle? Politicians are between that rock and hard place every time they must make a decision. However, in the mainstream media, the pundit class and to those inside the circles of power in Washington and state capitals — the "ruling class" — there seems to be a double standard for conservatives. It's really peculiar to hear liberal talking heads say what's good for the Republican Party. You hear them scoff when a conservative wins a nomination because, "only a moderate can win in" certain states. What they mean is that in nominating a "moderate" the Dems can't lose. Either their candidate wins, or they get someone who will "reach across the aisle" and help them push through their agenda. It's funny that we never hear about Democrats reaching across the aisle to help usher through conservative legislation.

Although the "ruling class" lionizes most office holders for making decisions based on principle over party, it's really ostensible praise. When a conservative Republican makes such a decision, especially when he shows true courage (in a certain case, being the only one in his caucus to stand up for a certain candidate), he is branded as destructive to the party. 

Thus, the case of Republican U.S. Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina. He is not content to be in a Republican majority because, as he says, he was in one once before and the Republicans "embarrassed" themselves. He wants to be in a conservative majority. According to Senator DeMint, it's not good enough to be Democrat-light. It is an admirable stance but it brings with it the inevitable attacks — from both parties. The Left demonizes him as an extremist while establishment Republicans hammer him as divisive. But if you're not in it for power or to make influential friends, it's amazing how much you can do for your country. Senator DeMint's backing has led to the unheard of defeats of two GOP incumbent defeats in primaries and the victories of several more insurgent conservatives over establishment choices. It gives the lie, as explained yesterday, to the mantra that "conservatives can't win," especially in certain states.

Here's how he explains it in a mash-up from Politico.com:

Republicans "embarrassed themselves in front of the country" the last time they had a Senate majority.

Here's a more in-depth interview (5:09) yesterday on Fox News Channel.

DeMint: "Outside of Washington, Republicans have never been MORE united." While Washington tries to divide us, Americans unite over enduring Judeo-Christian, core American principles.

A King-Sized Interview In The Big Apple

I am very excited to be in New York City to participate in The King's College Distinguished Visitor Series. I will be interviewed today by The King's College provost and World Magazine editor-in-chief Marvin Olasky in front of a crowd of the college's students. The King's College is a liberal arts school located in the Empire State Building. This year's Distinguished Visitor Series includes the likes of George Gilder, Dick Armey, Chuck Colson and and many other familiar names from academia, business, journalism, public policy, economics and culture. Past participants include U.S. Senator Jim DeMint, Grover Norquist, John Stossel and Ken Blackwell. Click here to see the complete list of this year's distinguished speakers and click here to see the list from the last three years of speakers up to August 30, and download the podcasts of those who interest you most. It's a terrific roster of intelligent and thought-provoking men and women. We will post the podcast of my interview here when it becomes available on The King's College Web site. Video will be available at the college's YouTube channel.

This year, the series added another element to its speakers' profile. According to Mr. Olasky:

The Distinguished Visitors Series allows students to learn from and interact with some of our nation’s top leaders. And this year we're complementing our established invitees with some younger Americans who will talk about ideas but also about discerning callings and starting careers (see Style Weekly).

I am honored to be a part of this series. I know it is possible only because of the good work by thousands of Virginians who share the common cause of defending our traditional values in the culture at large, and who work hard every day to bring reason and truth in the public square.

It Had To Be Said

The Far Left and its mainstream media echo chamber have had a ball this summer with a constant and intentional caricature of the conservative candidates who have defeated moderate Republicans in GOP primaries (see Alexander Burns at Politico.com). It's about time someone stepped forward to fire back a volley of truth. Someone has. Earlier this week, U.S. Senator Jim Demint (R-S.C.) wrote in an e-mail to supporters of the Senate Conservatives Fund, that:

The mainstream media and the elites in Washington say our candidates aren't as electable as unprincipled moderates. They have tried to marginalize them by calling their support for the constitution "extreme" and constantly portraying them as different from the usual politician. Well, compared to the political class in Washington, they are different . . . and that's exactly what this country needs!

Americans believe what's truly "extreme" is a $13 trillion debt, reckless spending, and a lack of commitment to the Constitution. And voters are enthusiastically supporting these conservative candidates because they are authentic leaders with the common sense and faith in our founding principles that is lacking in Washington.

I am just as confident our candidates can win in November as I was that they could win their primaries. Conservative principles transcend political labels and they're attractive to a majority of Americans. It's not about right vs. left, it's about up vs. down and about surviving as a nation vs. losing our greatness.

We can win these races and we can take America back if we're willing to do the hard work that's required.

It had to be said. The actions of the Far Left are increasingly appalling. To distract the public from their own actions and policies that are making America another Greece, they belittle people and demonize them as extremists simply for adhering to constitutional principles. Since when is standing for the constitution "extreme," while violating it — forcing people to buy a product, mandating a certain technology in your home, and spending trillions of dollars in areas not mentioned by the constitution — not extreme? Senator Demint is right: limited government and liberty are universal appeals that no amount of left-wing social engineering and demagoguery of can obfuscate. 

Of course, talk is easy, but Senator Demint is backing it up. He started the Senate Conservatives Fund to back bona fide conservatives, not those bandwagon jumpers who campaign as conservatives because of the prevailing political winds, but then go to Washington and vote with liberals on many issues. These are men and women with proven track records (see list) who get hammered by the establishment of both parties, the special interests, left-wing radicals and the mainstream media in their states. They also have something else in common: They win elections.

It reminds me of a certain former Virginia senator who repeatedly won his Northern Virginia district while trumpeting conservative principles, yet was supposedly was "too conservative" to win statewide. Now he's our attorney general and single handedly taking on the progressive agenda of the President of the United States.

Senators Webb And Warner: Virginia's Proud Porkers!

Virginia's two U.S. Senators, Jim Webb and his junior, Mark Warner, (click to contact), despite their protestations to the contrary — and sophistry about being "raging moderates" — proved they are not "fiscal conservatives" when they voted Tuesday night against a modest reform that would have banned earmarks for one year. But when you also have voted for a half-trillion dollars in new taxes and $1 trillion in new spending in a government takeover of the health care industry, what's several billion dollars more? The issue was an amendment by U.S. Senator Jim Demint (R-S.C.) to ban earmarks for one year. House Republicans last week adopted a policy as a caucus that no member would offer an earmark for a year until earmark reform could be worked out. House Democrats followed suit with a vague promise of their own to ban earmarks (but who needs an earmark when you can ram through a trillion-dollar health care takeover), but I digress. The vote was 68-29 against the Demint amendment, with 15 Republicans joining all but four Democrats (see the list) to defeat it. However, it was the first time a majority of Senate Republicans supported the measure. Politico.com reports on the vote here, in an article entitled "The Senate's proud porkers."

So, while their political brethren in Richmond went on a fiscal diet, actually cutting spending down to 2006 levels in the recently passed Virginia budget, Senators Warner and Webb continued to pig out in Washington. Should make them a hit at the annual Virginia Pork Festival in Emporia, should they attend. But some would say the pork festival is in Washington and is an on going affair — with Virginia's two senators among those having the most fun.

Senator Jim Demint asked Congress for a timeout on pork spending. Senators Webb and Warner, though, were having too much fun at the trough to stop.

FRC Action Webcast On Health Care, Tonight At 8:30!

Tonight, at 8:30, FRC Action and The Call to Conscience will host a live video Webcast on the proposed government takeover of the health care industry. Called, "An FRC Action PrayerCast: Government Takeover of Healthcare," it will feature a powerful line-up of speakers, including:

» Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council Action

» Lou Engle, Founder and President, The Call to Conscience

» Jim Daly, President, Focus on the Family Action

» Dr. James Dobson, Founder, Focus on the Family Action

» Hon. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), United States Senator

» Hon. Randy Forbes, (R-Va.) United States Representative

» Hon. Jim DeMint, (R-S.C.) United States Senator

» Hon. Michele Bachmann, (R-Minn.) United States Representative

» Bishop Harry Jackson, President, High Impact Leadership Coalition

» Pastor Jim Garlow, Skyline Church, San Diego, Calif.

» Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, National Hispanic Leadership Conference

The Webcast will provide information on the threats to the God-given right to human life through government funding of abortions and health from rationing, the impending massive tax increases, and the general loss of freedom when the government runs something as personal as our own health care. The Webcast also will offer time for prayer for our nation and our leaders. 

Click here to register for tonight's FRC Webcast: "An FRC Action PrayerCast: Government Takeover of Healthcare"