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by
Bridget Johnson

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June 11, 2014 - 1:58 pm

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said he would focus his future on being a “champion” for conservatism, but will give up his leadership post in the lower chamber at the end of July.

At the first press conference since last night’s loss to economics professor Dave Brat, Cantor first referred to “growing up in the Jewish faith” and learning the Old Testament at Hebrew school: “You learn a lot about the setbacks … each setback is an opportunity.”

Despite last night’s “setback,” he said, “I couldn’t be more optimistic about the future of this country.”

“People often lament what is wrong with this town; I want to remind you of what’s right… these are the people flying across the country each week” working for constituents, he noted of his colleagues, “on both sides of the aisle.”

Cantor, who made the public statement after meeting privately with the GOP caucus, thanked Hill staffers, the sergeant-at-arms, Capitol Police, and the dignitary protection division as “second to none.”

“We House Republicans have made some tremendous strides,” he noted, including school choice and the reduction of spending in Washington. “We passed bill after bill that would increase take-home pay for middle-class families.”

“House Republicans do get things done; we get a lot done,” Cantor added, noting the “stack of bills” sitting in the Senate waiting for action.

“I will continue to fight for each and every American who’s looking to better themselves,” he said.

While not on the ballot, the majority leader vowed to “be a champion” for conservative causes.

What divides the right “pales in comparison” to differences with the left, he added, chiding voters to put “minor differences” aside in November to elect a GOP Congress.

“While I intend to serve out my term, effective July 31 I will be stepping down as majority leader.”

When asked what went wrong in his primary campaign, Cantor replied, “I’m going to leave the political analysis to y’all.”

“Never was there a day when I did not put the constituents of the 7th District first,” he said, stressing that he did spend time in his district despite weighing that with the demands of a House leadership post.

He also tipped his hat to GOP whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as his successor. “McCarthy would make an outstanding majority leader,” Cantor said. “I will be backing him with my full support.”

McCarthy has reportedly been huddling with committee chairmen ever since last night to shore up his support before the June 19 House leadership election.

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
Top Rated Comments   
Your utter lack of civility iis exactly what buzzsawmonkey wrote about when he decried the disappearance of social grace from our culture.

Cantor remains in Congress until January 2, 2015 and he did not have to step aside as Majority Leader. I suspect he picked July 31 to allow the Majority Leader's staff time to plan for their futures. Staffers know their jobs are at risk after every election and seven weeks is roughly the time from when a incumbent gets the bad news he or she lost their bid for reelection and when the new Congress is sworn in.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Minor" differences.
Confirmation of his having been marinated in Beltway poison.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
One of the ugliest legacies of the Sixties is that people no longer comprehend that there is such a thing as social grace.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (16)
All Comments   (16)
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Did I miss something? what is all the kerfuffle about?
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
What right? Mostly what I see are leftists posing as right wingers. If Cantor wishes to work toward being a champion for conservatives he might consider becoming one himself first.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Backs McCarthy for Post

Then that's precisely who we should NOT choose for the position.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
"“Never was there a day when I did not put the constituents of the 7th District first,”"

Well, yeah, if by "constituent" he means Big Business, and "7th District" means fat cat corporate donors across the country.



6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
If he backs McCarthy, is that a good thing?
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, that is definitely not a good thing.

McCarthy is pro-amnesty for illegals.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Minor" differences.
Confirmation of his having been marinated in Beltway poison.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
"“Never was there a day when I did not put the constituents of the 7th District first,” he said"

They were always first and foremost in my tireless and non-stop efforts to tell them the very biggest lies I could think of that they might be stupid enough to belive.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
"House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said he would focus his future on being a “champion” for conservatism"

He just can't stop lying. If Joseph Goebbels had a grandson, he would sound like Eric Cantor.

"I will continue to fight for each and every American [as long as he's with the Chamber of Commerce or is in the country illegally, and of course, doesn't belong to that blasted Tea Party!!!] ... ...” he said
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
One of the ugliest legacies of the Sixties is that people no longer comprehend that there is such a thing as social grace.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Including, it seems quite a few people who comment at this site. Shame on them.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
In fact, in spite of the fact that he made his concession speech last night just after 8 PM, as of this afternoon he had not called Dave Brat to congratulate him, which is one of the first lessons of political diplomacy. Cantor is a spoiled, entitled brat, and I think is still in complete shock that he lost.

I think he is also in shock that his constituents saw through his lies and flip flopping, especially on the issue of immigration. He was so brazen at this that his campaign sent out a mailer stating unequivocally that he was OPPOSED to amnesty and that his opponent was LYING about his (Cantor's) position, while at the same time he was scheduled to deliver the keynote speech at a pro-amnesty rally. Cantor has been in Washington too long.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
There's a distinction between social grace and unwarranted self-aggrandizement, and you can announce a resignation without patting yourself on the back.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Cantor certainly doesn't.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
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