DeMint: Replace GOPers who won't defund Obamacare

If "Republicans are afraid," they "need to be replaced," DeMint said

By Jillian Rayfield
Published August 20, 2013 4:58PM (EDT)

Former Sen. Jim DeMint argued that if Republicans are too afraid to support defunding Obamacare, perhaps "they need to be replaced.”

DeMint, a South Carolina Republican and Tea Partyer who now serves as president of the Heritage Foundation, was speaking at a town hall hosted by the political arm of organization, the Washington Post reports. “I’m not as interested in the political futures of folks who think they might lose a showdown with the president," he said.

He later told NPR: “I think [Obama] knows that Republicans are afraid, and if they are, they need to be replaced.”

Tea Party Republicans like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are leading an effort to block a continuing resolution to fund the federal government after September, unless the resolution strips all funding for the Affordable Care Act. This could lead to a government shutdown, since neither the Senate nor Obama would approve a CR that doesn't include funding for the law. The move has caused a split within the Republican Party, because, for one thing, shutting down the government wouldn't even stop the law from being funded, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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Heritage Foundation Jim Demint Obamacare Republicans South Carolina