Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint kicked off a nine-city Defund Obamacare town hall tour in Fayetteville, Arkansas, last night with a full house.

The event, organized by Heritage Action and also featuring Heritage Action CEO Mike Needham, was filled to capacity and some people started taking their seats hours ahead of time. The Associated Press reported that the audience numbered more than 300, and noted that DeMint hammered conservatives in Congress who oppose Obamacare in name only.


“They’ve done symbolic votes to repeal Obamacare, but the real act of courage is if they get back in September and they pass a bill funding all operations of government except Obamacare,” DeMint told the crowd.

As for the myth that the Defund Obamacare movement wants to shut down the government in order to stop the bill, DeMint addressed that, too.

From the AP report:

DeMint said the concern that the effort would hurt the party comes from “the same guys who handled the 2012 election for Republicans.” Those within the party who have expressed worries about threatening a shutdown over health care include former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

“Certainly they will be blamed if they don’t get on the offense and tell Americans what they’re doing,” DeMint told reporters before the town hall. “If they pass a bill when they get back in September, and they should have done it before they left, and they fund government and they go out and say ‘we funded the government, Mr. President, it’s your decision whether to accept that funding or shut the government down,’ I think it’s an argument we can win.”

DeMint will be speaking in Dallas tonight along with special guest Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).


The tour rolls on, sweeping through Tampa, Nashville, and Birmingham later this week followed by Indianapolis, Columbus, Pittsburgh, and Wilmington next week.

Almost all of the planned events are filled to capacity, but Heritage Action is still accepting RSVPs online for the Columbus and Pittsburgh stops.