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 Politics Archive 2014

Eric Cantor speaks out about why he
thinks he lost the congressional primary
by Nathan'ette Burdine: June 17, 2014

On Sunday, Eric Cantor spoke out about why he thinks he lost the Virginia primary to local Tea Partier and college professor Dave Brat.

During an appearance on CNN’s “The Situation Room,” Dana Bash, who was filling in for Candy Crowley, asked Cantor if he agreed with his pollster, John McLaughlin, who said that Virginia’s open primary allowed Democrats to vote in the Republican primary.

In a statement to CNN, McLaughlin said that there were “19,000 new primary voters” who weren’t Republicans and that the “surge of non-Republican primary voters” did not help Cantor.

Cantor responded that he thought there were several factors contributing to his loss, but he said that he did not believe that Virginia’s open primary was one of those factors.

“You know Dana, I don’t think it’s really worthwhile,” said Cantor. Earlier during their conversation, Cantor told Bash that he ran his campaign the same as he had before and that he didn’t get enough votes.

Cantor said, “Dana, I think the obvious is is that I came up short in terms of the number of votes-I really don’t think there is any one reason for the outcome of the election that there are just a lot of things that go through the voters’ minds when they go through the voting booth. But I tell you one thing, we ran my campaign the same way.”

Last Wednesday, Cantor suffered a double-digit loss to Brat. Brat defeated Cantor 55.45% to 44.45%.

Part of Brat’s success resulted from him using immigration as a way to cast Cantor as a stereotypical D.C. politician.

After Cantor said that he was in favor of illegal immigrants’ children getting help from the federal government, Brat told voters that Cantor was “flip-flopping” on his support for amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Bash asked Cantor if this was the case, and he said that his “principle” position on immigration hasn’t changed.

Cantor stated that he is not for a “comprehensive amnesty bill,” but he is for helping children who are here at “no fault of their own find themselves here and know no other place as home.”

Cantor acknowledged that his position has angered both sides, but he said that he wants to focus on where both parties agree and build from there.

Bash also asked Cantor, who is Jewish, about a comment that Brat made during the night of the primary.

During his acceptance speech, Brat told the voters that his win was a “miracle from God.”

Bash questioned if Brat, who is a Christian, was expressing anti-Semitism during his speech.

Cantor told Bash that he tries not to think negatively of others and that he didn’t believe that was the case.

Cantor went on to say that he will vote for Brat during the November 2014 primary.

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