“If you look at what happened, especially in the 112th congress, one of the times when the Republican Party was soaring in popularity was [in the] runup to the debt ceiling when we were promoting the idea that we have a spending problem and that we should cut spending,” Holler said, calling the anti-spending message “winning.”
“We think Republicans are in their best political positions when they’re promoting the conservative position,” Holler continued. He added that Heritage sees itself as the group that can provide the GOP a “road map out of being the party of big business.”
He emphasized that not every member is going to vote with the group on every issue, pointing to some members whose constituents might expect them to vote for disaster relief, for example.
“What we say all the time — and this is to members and to their constituents — we put together scorecards so they can have perspective for votes,” Holler said.
Following the speeches from elected officials, the crowd stands at long tables as they dig into BBQ, brunswick stew, cadillac rice at the Law Enforcement Cookout at Wayne Dasher's pond house in Glennville, Ga., on Thursday, April 17, 2014.