During a discussion on MSNBC about the just-resolved budget and debt crises, Hatch lamented how "good think tanks in the past" are "losing their reputation because of this radicalness." Host Chuck Todd asked the senator if it was a reference to the Heritage Foundation and its political arm, Heritage Action, which announced its opposition to the Senate deal to re-open the government until Jan. 15 and raise the debt limit until Feb. 7.
"Well, yeah. Of course I am. Heritage used to be the conservative organization helping Republicans and helping conservatives and helping us to be able to have the best intellectual conservative ideas," Hatch said. "There's a real question in the minds of many Republicans now — I'm not just speaking for myself — for a lot of people, is Heritage gonna go so political that it really doesn't amount to anything anymore?"
"I hope not," he added. "I'm gonna try and help it to survive and do well, but right now I think it's in danger of losing its clout and its power around Washington, D.C."Other news organizations such as Politico have also written about Sen. Hatch's Heritage comments. The Washington Post has a video clip of the discussion.
Here is what The New York Times had to say about the Hatch/Heritage comments:
The Heritage Foundation, and its political action wing, helped orchestrate the move by House Republicans to force a government shutdown, believing that this confrontational strategy might block the startup of the Obama administration’s health care law. As Speaker John A. Boehner pointed out Wednesday, they lost that fight.
Now the backlash is coming — from prominent Republicans, as well as from liberals in Washington, who are arguing that the 40-year-old institution, which has long had a reputation as a Republican-dominated voice in Washington, has become too extreme.
These more mainstream Republicans are now pointing to the arrival of Jim DeMint, the former Republican senator of South Carolina, at the Heritage Foundation in April as its new president, as a moment when it began to lose its way.Sen. Hatch is no stranger to the Heritage Foundation. Here is a video of Sen. Hatch outlining a plan to reform Medicaid at the Heritage Foundation. Here is another video of Sen. Hatch speaking about Obamacare at the Heritage Foundation. Here are remarks that Sen. Hatch made at the Heritage Foundation about immigration.
The Heritage Foundation was recently ranked as the 18th best think tank in the world by the annual University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings. It was rated the 9th best think tank in the US. It was also rated as the #1 think tank in the world in terms of best use of social media and the Internet. Heritage was also rated as the 10th best think tank in the world in terms of most significant impact on public policy.