On Tuesday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor accused the Heritage Foundation of "strapping dynamite to the bridge" in trying to influence the agreement to end the government shutdown, and went on to mock Heritage President Jim DeMint as wearing "clown pajamas."
After host Al Sharpton griped about DeMint being a "far, far right" influence on congressional members, Taylor complained: "In effect, what Heritage has done is they have strapped dynamite to the bridge on the way to reconciliation in opening up this government."
A bit later, Sharpton played a clip of Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz using a Chuck Norris joke to praise DeMint. Cruz: "Kids all over the world wear Superman pajamas. Superman wears Chuck Norris pajamas. And let me tell you, Chuck Norris wears Jim DeMint pajamas."
Taylor cracked: "I think that Jim DeMint probably wears the clown pajamas, is what it really sounds like."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, October 15, PoliticsNation on MSNBC:
AL SHARPTON: They were going to deal with the shutdown, avoid the default. DeMint comes out with the Heritage Action, says don't vote. He (Speaker John Boehner) backs down. Last week Jim DeMint wrote a letter to President Obama on ObamaCare. He writes, "We believe the law should be fully repealed, but at minimum both sides should agree not to fund the law for one year, a time out that would halt the law's most harmful effects before they start."
And it seems like he's been able to just call the shots here which is frightening given the position he has to the far, far right.
GOLDIE TAYLOR: Well, one of the things that Jim DeMint knew is that being a Senator was much less powerful than leading the Heritage Foundation. Certainly, as head of the Heritage Foundation, he is able to coalesce a critical mass of votes, enough that it takes to stop legislation coming in and out of the House. And clearly he's shown himself to be that powerful today with Speaker Boehner. But I'm not willing to let Speaker Boehner off the hook. He has had the option for a very long time to put a clean CR on the floor of the House and he has steadfastly refused.
And so I don't think it is just that Boehner is afraid of, you know, the people at Heritage. I think he is beginning to line up with them along with the other 30 or 40 Republicans who do so more regularly. And so I'm not as willing to give Speaker Boehner the kind of discount that maybe some of my colleagues are. In effect, what Heritage has done is they have strapped dynamite to the bridge on the way to reconciliation in opening up this government.
SHARPTON: Well, you know, Goldie, before we get into the end game, Ryan says that he's toured with Ted Cruz. Listen to how Ted Cruz talks about his mentor, Mr. DeMint.
SENATOR TED CRUZ (R-TX): Kids all over the world wear Superman pajamas. Superman wears Chuck Norris pajamas. And let me tell you, Chuck Norris wears Jim DeMint pajamas.
SHARPTON: So, I mean, he holds him in high esteem.
TAYLOR: It seems that he does. I think that Jim DeMint probably wears the clown pajamas, is what it really sounds like. I think, you know, at the end of the day, it comes down to this, yes, he does have this minions of proteges as you were across the U.S. Senate. He has a number of them in the House that he seems to control the strings off. But he also has a very direct line to the very extreme end of the GOP grassroots.
And they are not backing down on the fight against ObamaCare. They intend, well, they hope to intend to either impeach this President, delegitimatize him in some other way or kill this law, and they will fight or die trying. And so I think that that is, you know, where we sit, in terms of how we're going to get this government re-opened in the face of that, it is going to take some very rational fair minded Republicans if there are any left who will stand up and call this for what it is. It is pure election chicanery and it has to stop now.