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But that didn’t satisfy critics.

On Wednesday evening, about 200 protesters gathered outside of a meeting of Mr. Cantor’s advisory council, held at the Holiday Inn Koger Center in Midlothian. The protest, which included the grass-roots organization Virginia Organizing, was meant, in part, to call attention to the ongoing jobs crisis in Mr. Cantor’s district and his comments on disaster funding.

The protest resulted in a little head-scratching by Mr. Cantor.

“Anyone can really sign up to be here,” he said. “I’m not quite so sure why that was productive outside. … This is a campaign event open to the public. Again, all you have to do is go online and sign up.”

• David Hill, Tom Howell Jr. and David Sherfiniski contributed to this report

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