Eric Cantor Doesn't Know Why He Lost The Primary, Either
Washington's Saddest Man, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, hinted he's not sure why he lost his election Tuesday night — but he's going to let the media figure it out. Cantor made the comments in a Wednesday afternoon news conference. He slammed Democrats and tried to make a case for a unified Republican Party that, in the wake of Cantor's loss, just clearly doesn't exist.
Cantor also supported House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy as the next majority leader: "I will be backing him with my full support," he said.
Cantor also officially confirmed he'll be stepping down as House majority leader on July 31, a fact widely reported earlier Wednesday. During the news conference, Cantor spent a lot of time thanking his team and pals in Congress before getting to the meat of the matter: What happened at his primary Tuesday night, where he succumbed to Tea Party guy Dave Brat.
Weirdly, Cantor was also a Tea Party guy who helped engineer some of the most absurd far-right Republican standoffs over the last few years. Apparently not important to the Tea Party, whose followers appear to rank "smelling like the establishment" among its vote-you-out sins.
When asked directly why he lost, Cantor basically hinted he didn't know and would leave the up to the media.
I’m going to leave the political analysis to y’all.
But he didn't blame his team, though internal polling from Cantor's apparently flawed pollster showed him tens of points above his challenger. He didn't blame his leadership position, saying he was still in his home district outside Richmond every week. Nor did he appear to chalk up the loss to his perceived ideological movement on immigration reform — it was thought he may be collaborating with House Speaker John Boehner on a coming overhaul of U.S. immigration regulations.
I will say that my position on immigration has not changed. It didn't change before the election, (or) during the election to what it is today. ...I don’t believe in this my way or the highway approach that the president has laid out.
When asked whether it was possible for the next majority leader to figure out Cantor's challenge of simultaneously being too far right or too far left, the man typically equivocated.
Maybe we had it right somewhere in the middle.
Then he downplayed the Republican Party's schism, saying at least they're all united by one thing: Hating Dems.
I hope all Republicans will put their differences aside and elect conservatives. ...The differences that we may have are slight and pale in comparison to the differences we have with the left.
The thing is, that may not even be true any more. The real question plaguing Republicans in Congress today is: If Eric Cantor wasn't conservative enough, who is?
At the end of the news conference, Cantor left us with a warm thought: Though he's out of office and out of a leadership position soon, this isn't the last we'll hear from him. Wait, can we vote on that?