The Washington Times - January 26, 2013, 09:16PM

Sporting his new hat as the head of the Heritage Foundation, former Sen. Jim DeMint said Saturday that conservatives should not rely on the GOP establishment to deliver the movement’s message. He said it is time to take matters into their own hands.

Addressing the National Review Institute’s “Future of Conservatism” summit, Mr. DeMint said that conservatives must take charge of the way the movement is perceived.

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“Conservatives have given the sole distribution rights of our ideas, our beliefs and our values - at least in the political sphere - to the Republican party,” the South Carolina Republican said. “We are on the outside looking in hoping they will take some of our ideas and adopt them. It is time to flip that around.”

Mr. DeMint said conservatives cannot expect lawmakers to run on their ideas if they represent people who oppose them.

So, he said it is time for conservatives to “take charge our ideas” and change the perception of the movement. He urged them to “make our ideas so persuasive to the American people that candidates for office have to embrace them in order to get elected.”

“That is our job as a conservative movement,” Mr. DeMint added. “We can’t keep looking to the political class and complaining that they are not doing the right thing. We need to take the message to the American people. That is what we want to do at Heritage. We want to be the leader, the facilitator, the catalyst of the conservative movement.”