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White House: Cantor’s opposition to Obama, immigration reform cost him his seat

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The White House said Wednesday that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's tendency of "opposing nearly everything" cost him his seat in Virginia's congressional primary election on Tuesday.

Mr. Cantor lost his Seventh District seat Tuesday night to tea party candidate David Brat in one of the biggest political upsets in recent history.

Obama administration officials theorize that, had Mr. Cantor worked more closely with the president and congressional Democrats, he may have prevailed.

""I do think that this outcome does provide some evidence to indicate that the strategy of opposing nearly everything and supporting hardly anything is not just a bad governing strategy, it is not a very good political strategy either," White House principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One.

Republicans have taken the opposite view. Rep. John Fleming, Louisiana Republican and member of the House Tea Party Caucus, said he believes Mr. Cantor lost because conservative voters blame Republican leadership for not opposing the administration passionately enough.

Mr. Cantor also had express some openness to a piecemeal approach to immigration reform, but the White House believes he may have won Tuesday's race if he supported the sweeping reform proposal backed by the administration.

"Majority Leader Cantor campaigned very aggressively against common-sense, bipartisan immigration reform, but yet in the analysis there are some who suggest this his election was a key to getting immigration reform done," Mr. Earnest said. "I am not quite sure how some people have reached that conclusion."

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