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Ex-senator says meddling Washington leaders a hindrance to Americans' happiness

Monday - 3/10/2014, 10:36am  ET

Jim DeMint (WTOP/Colleen Kelleher)
Jim DeMint discusses his thoughts about Washington, D.C., in the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center Monday, March 10. (WTOP/Colleen Kelleher)

'Wars are becoming too political'

Jim DeMint shares his thoughts on D.C. leadership.

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WASHINGTON -- A former senator is working to help Americans fall back in love with the country -- and he says Washington's leaders aren't helping in the process.

Jim DeMint, the former Republican senator from South Carolina and president of the conservative research think tank Heritage Foundation, says politics is polarizing and Americans need to "stop looking to Washington to solve our problems."

"People are starting to realize that those one-size-fits-all solutions don't fit anybody," DeMint said of government fixes on WTOP Monday.

America's strength comes from the ground up, DeMint said, meaning individuals, families and small businesses are the foundation. The government's more "top down" models don't work well because opportunity is not spread across the country, he said.

Looking to leaders in Washington, D.C., to resolve things will leave Americans disappointed and the "big guys" in leadership positions aren't looking out for the right people, he said.

"I can tell you from being in Congress, the House and the Senate for 14 years, that when the doors close and they start writing a bill, whether it's for health care or finance or housing, it's with the 'big guys,'" he said.

The concept isn't a new one for DeMint, whose book -- "Falling in Love with America Again" -- came out last week.

A POLITICO article questioned whether DeMint was the "most hated man in Washington" after DeMint "made a sport out of bashing fellow Republicans."

To that, DeMint says they can bring on the hate.

"I became convinced a number of years ago that if they like you in Washington, you're probably part of the problem."

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