Posted: 8:46 pm Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Tea party topples Eric Cantor, No. 2 Republican in U.S. House 

By Jim Galloway

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor stands with Georgia congressman during a 2011 press conference. AJC file

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor stands with Georgia congressman during a 2011 press conference. AJC file

Jaw-dropping news for a party that had been focused on next week’s U.S. Senate runoff in Mississippi – the No. 2-ranking Republican in the U.S. House has been sent home.

Roll Call says the vote is the first of its kind:

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor became the first person in American history to lose his primary while holding that position. He lost Tuesday night to a poorly-funded GOP opponent in the biggest electoral stunner in several cycles.

The Associated Press explains why the revolution isn’t over:

Cantor is the second-most powerful member of the U.S. House and was seen by some as a possible successor to the House speaker.His loss to Dave Brat, a political novice with little money marks a huge victory for the tea party movement, which supported Cantor just a few years ago.

Brat had been a thorn in Cantor’s side on the campaign, casting the congressman as a Washington insider who isn’t conservative enough. Last month, a feisty crowd of Brat supporters booed Cantor in front of his family at a local party convention.

His message apparently scored well with voters in the 7th District.

“There needs to be a change,” said Joe Mullins, who voted in Chesterfield County Tuesday. The engineering company employee said he has friends who tried to arrange town hall meetings with Cantor, who declined their invitations.

Tiffs between the GOP’s establishment and tea party factions have flared in Virginia since tea party favorite Ken Cuccinelli lost last year’s gubernatorial race. Cantor supporters have met with stiff resistance in trying to wrest control of the state party away from tea party enthusiasts, including in the Cantor’s home district.

Brat teaches at Randolph-Macon College, a small liberal arts school north of Richmond. He raised just more than $200,000 for his campaign, according to the most recent campaign finance reports.

Beltway-based groups also spent heavily in the race. The American Chemistry Council, whose members include many blue chip companies, spent more than $300,000 on TV ads promoting Cantor. It’s the group’s only independent expenditure so far this election year. Political arms of the American College of Radiology, the National Rifle Association and the National Association of Realtors also spent money on ads to promote Cantor.

Brat offset the cash disadvantage with endorsements from conservative activists like radio host Laura Ingraham, and with help from local tea party activists angry at Cantor.

Much of the campaign centered on immigration, where critics on both sides have recently taken aim at Cantor.

Brat has accused the House majority leader of being a top cheerleader for “amnesty” for immigrants in the U.S. illegally. Cantor has responded forcefully by boasting in mailers of blocking Senate plans “to give illegal aliens amnesty.”

It was a change in tone for Cantor, who has repeatedly voiced support for giving citizenship to certain immigrants brought illegally to the country as children. Cantor and House GOP leaders have advocated a step-by-step approach rather than the comprehensive bill backed by the Senate. They’ve made no move to bring legislation to a vote and appear increasingly unlikely to act this year.

Cantor, a former state legislator, was elected to Congress in 2000. He became majority leader in 2011.

The consequences are multiple:

– One thing unmentioned by the AP report, but sure to be fleshed out later, is the fact that Cantor was the highest-ranking Jewish member of Congress.

– Cantor’s ouster almost certainly spells the end for the demand from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for immigration reform. From local tea partyer Debbie Dooley: “This should squash any attempt at ramming an amnesty bill through the House.”

– Here’s a question: What does this mean for U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Roswell? Who replaces Cantor as House majority leader?

209 comments
StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

This will not translate into a tea party congress.  Voters outside of southern states will not forget what Ted Cruz and his crew cost this country with their shut down stunt last year.  If you think that was bad imagine what will happen with a house run by a majority of Cruz's.  Just the thought makes me shutter. 

lithoniaguy
lithoniaguy

CANTOR loses his government job! Why do these "hate government" politicians want to be elected to the government they pretend to hate? I guess these government jobs pay well.

BuzzG
BuzzG

Once again Jim Galloway gets it wrong.  Open borders was the number one issue in this race.  Jim Galloway says Cantor was for "immigration reform".  No.  Cantor was for open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens.  He took millions of dollars from the Chamber of Commerce to see to it that they had a perpetual supply of cheap illegal alien labor (just like the Repubs do here in Georgia.) 

Jim Galloway and the rest of the leftist press will make a big deal of the fact that Cantor is Jewish.  That is the way leftists think, not conservative Tea Party types.  We knew he has Jewish when we voted for him the first several times.  It does not matter to us.  What matters is his open border stance.  Several Republicans in Georgia had better wake up.  Georgia has now issued driver's licenses to over 12 thousand illegal aliens.  This needs to stop.

Carlos_Castillo
Carlos_Castillo

Once President Obama began playing politics with the immigration issue by deciding not to enforce the law and Latino immigration activists cooperated withing him, he cut the ground from under those within the Republican Party who were inclined to cooperate with him over illegal Latino immigration.


Cantor lost because he didn't understand this basic dynamic.


As for the Tea Party aspect of the race, I'd put this down as an outlier.



A_Sickness_in_GA
A_Sickness_in_GA

Whatever, Cantor is going to probably run a write in campaign and win. 


This was an extremely low turnout primary. There were only about 60,000 votes cast...unpredictable results happen in low turn out elections. This is not a mandate for anybody or any position regarding immigration reform. The fact is that Brat won the same way the NRA wins, a small motivated group of people will always get there when when the broader populous check out of voting. 

GuyOnThisSite
GuyOnThisSite

The GOP has a healthy debate on issues within the party, the Democrats march in lockstep groupthink and are shocked that the other side doesn't just vote in the same incumbents over and over again.


DirtyDawg
DirtyDawg

Wouldn't be a hoot if these T-Partier candidates all got their butts beat come November? Then the answer to the question of who the Majority Leader would be a Democrat. - Stenny Hoyer (or whatever his name is) for example. And the way to sell immigration reform to the tp's is to call it 'let's make sure - while we're rounding up these illegals - that we exploit them to the fullest by providing 'worker status' so we can collect taxes from them and their employers'. I mean all you got to do to appeal to the tp guys is to introduce a little greed into the equation and they're all over it. One man's 'amnesty' is another man's 'profit deal'.

CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

1. Could it be said that Cantor was successful in formulating the social litmus test and gerrymandering to insure an absolute republican district.   His failure is that he could not pass the litmus test and be a legislator, and rural social conservatives are reliable during mid-term elections while the suburban RINO's keep their heads in the sand.

2. RINO's are tolerant of the Virginia Statutes for Religious Freedom and the First Amendment, but RKPR's, not so much.

3. The US Chamber of Commerce's relationship with AgriBusiness is not that great.  Just ask the farmers in South Georgia when they begged the Metro Atlanta and Georgia Chambers to ask Nathan Deal not to sign the ALEC developed immigration bill.

4. It really doesn't matter who is the majority leader under John Boehner.  They haven't passed any majority piece of legislation in the past three years and will not do so over the next two years.

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

GA Lib logic: (1) You cons are clueless by electing folks like Cantor; (2) You TBs hate America (3) Vote for our person - Nunn/Carter.

I have been too a couple of TB "rallys" to check them out.  I was impressed by the number of military veterans that were TBs but was not my cup of tea.  How are the libs handling the Veterans???  Hilarious to see libs calling TBs haters of America when you clowns celebrate illegal immigration.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

Voter turnout for Cantor's district, and the state as a whole was about 12% of registered voters. The tp did not win that election, apathy and complacency won it for Brat. The tp voters are a motivated bunch and turned out for their candidate, while Cantor's folks thought there was no urgency to go vote, and that was the overwhelming reason for Cantor's defeat.

Any tea baggie that thinks this somehow indicates a resurgence of their fetid brand is delusional.

SEP-AU
SEP-AU

ps

I'm tickled blue.

SEP-AU
SEP-AU

Cantor is bad for his state and worse for the country. Basically, what this Cantor ejection is is the teabags stabbing themselves in the heart....again.  That's their real contribution to the country they smugly and falsely claim to love.  Thank you, teabags.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Eventually, you'll vote yourselves into obscurity.  Maybe you'll even give us a new national holiday to mark the occasion.

HarveyPooka
HarveyPooka

Make that "WAS" the No. 2, not is the No.2. He may still be officially occupying his office but between now and transition date, he has no powers.

td1234
td1234

@lithoniaguy Can you point out where anyone from the Tea Party has stated they hate government? 


I believe this debate is about the size and scope of government and what should be the roles of the Federal and state government. 


The progressive movement wants a strong central government that has all the control over every aspect of our lives (socialistic model) and Conservatives want a good balance of power between the Federal and state governments with the Federal government having a very limited scope. 

Kamchak
Kamchak

@BuzzG 

Cantor was for open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens. 

Ronaldo Reaganenez' 1986 amnesty says, "What?"

Retired-Soldier
Retired-Soldier

@A_Sickness_in_GA  Much like the republicans in the 2012 election for president? All Romney needed to do was get the vote out, same number as McCain received in 2008 and would have won.


The point is Cantor was booted by his district.

Charles50
Charles50

@GuyOnThisSite Sorry, but you got your parties mixed up when you made your comments.  The TEA Party especially has not tolerance for anyone who doesn't think exactly the way they do.  That's one of the reasons Cantor is out and Ted Cruze is in.  

Kamchak
Kamchak

@GuyOnThisSite 

The GOP has a healthy debate on issues within the party, the Democrats march in lockstep groupthink...

Self-described El Rushbo ditto-heads say, "What?"

NOlongerRepublican
NOlongerRepublican

@GuyOnThisSite what are you smokin? If you think for one second all Democrats think alike you obviously don't keep up with the debate going on between Democrats. There are SO many issues which divide the Democrats and why you see some left-leaners running ast hird party candidates. 

Retired-Soldier
Retired-Soldier

@CuriousPrime 


"They haven't passed any majority piece of legislation in the past three years and will not do so over the next two years."


If you mean legislation that a majority of democrats supported you may be right. That would also hold true in the senate, besides some confirmations.


honested
honested

@td1234 @lithoniaguy 

So why haven't conserrrrrrrvatives, especially the teaklan done anything to seek that balance?

Voting 50 times to strip people of their healthcare is hardly seeking a balance.

td1234
td1234

@Kamchak @BuzzG And Conservatives have been saying since that it was the biggest mistake Reagan made as proved by the problem we have today. 

A_Sickness_in_GA
A_Sickness_in_GA

@Retired-Soldier @A_Sickness_in_GA @Retired-Soldier @A_Sickness_in_GA  He was not booted by his district, he was booted by 30,000 primary voters in his party. That is a distinction with a difference. However, we'll know soon enough if he chooses to accept his defeat or fight on. If he fights on, I'd very surprised if he loses in November. I suspect this will be simply a replay of the 2010 Alaska Senate race.

Charles50
Charles50

@NOlongerRepublican @GuyOnThisSite And not only are there many debates and issues, there are very few that will absolutely kill you as a candidate.  A lot of Dems don't like Jason Carter's stance on "guns everywhere", but when faced with the choice of him or Deal, they will give consideration to the other things he offers.  

honested
honested

@Retired-Soldier @CuriousPrime 

How about 'legislation' period.

This is the most ineffective House in my lifetime. Dithering while waiting for faulty economic theories to work, and the US suffers all the while.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@KlayCook  That's strange, the election results I saw showed Obama with a majority of the votes. But unlike you, I live in the real world, not the one pox news and brietbart.com makes up.

td1234
td1234

@honested What people? The reports I have seen says that less than 1% of the population did not previously have insurance and has signed up for Obamacare. 


We ruin the entire health insurance industry for the other 99% for 1% and you think this is something to celebrate? 

Kamchak
Kamchak

And Conservatives have been saying since that it was the biggest mistake Reagan made as proved by the problem we have today. 

And Ronaldo Reaganendez still signed it.

Just sayin'.

td1234
td1234

@A_Sickness_in_GA They have a sore loser law in Va. so he will not get to pull a Liberman and get on the ballot as a independent. 

honested
honested

@td1234 @lithoniaguy @GuyOnThisSite 

AND BOOM!

You once again demonstrate your absolute lack of comprehension outside your tiny little group of 'friends'.

NOBODY wants the USSR and they weren't even 'commies' in the truly Marxist sense of the word.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@td1234 Gosh, and here I am voting for them thinking they were trying to take us back to 1936 Germany and adolf's band. Of course that is what I read on right wing blogs, although there is some dispute among them that the Dems are taking us back to 8th century Arabia with Sharia law. But I'll let you righties sort that controversy out.

td1234
td1234

@AuntieChrist That would be the majority of the registered voters that actually come out and voted in the election. In other words it was about 25% of the registered voters in the entire US elects any President.

honested
honested

@td1234 @honested 

Ruin what?

Due to new requirements, my premiums went down while my coverage improved.

You trusts whining insurance agents too much.

Plus, the uncovered portion of Citizens was somewhere north of 18%. The closer we get to 100%, the better for the 100%!

But back to the question, how does wasting time on pointless, repeated guaranteed to fail votes strike any kind of governing balance?

Kamchak
Kamchak

The reports I have seen says[sic] that...

The reports I have seen say that I will be the starting quarterback for the Dolphins.

td1234
td1234

@honested Anyone on this site that has been reading your blog for more than a day knows that you really want the true Marxist state. 

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@Retired-Soldier Did someone dispute that Brat got a majority?

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@td1234  We already have a Marxist state. The repuppy party is just a replica of Groucho, Chico, and Harpo's greatest hits.

Retired-Soldier
Retired-Soldier

@AuntieChrist 


"That's strange, the election results I saw showed Obama with a majority of the votes. But unlike you, I live in the real world, not the one pox news and brietbart.com makes up."


The real world is Brat won with a larger majority than Obama did in 2012 or 2008.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@Retired-Soldier  Well, by all means, grab your little party hat and go celebrate, if that little statistic is supposed to mean something.