The South Carolina senator told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer he looked forward to heading what he called America’s premier center for conservative thought. DeMint said the new job would let him employ the research skills of his old professional life as a marketing consultant.
He said he looked forward to better framing conservative arguments -- claiming Republicans lost ground in the recent election not because of their ideology but because they didn’t explain their positions in a compelling way to win over Americans.
DeMint, a favorite of tea party activists, stands to gain in another sense when he leaves Congress after six years in the House and seven years in the Senate.
The 61-year-old lawmaker will chuck his $174,000 government salary in favor of a much more lucrative paycheck from Heritage. While the organization did not say how much it would pay DeMint, predecessor Edwin J. Feulner earned total compensation of about $1 million a year, according to the Charity Navigator website.