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PHILLIPS: Eric Cantor’s truth-in-advertising problem

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

TV viewers in Virginia and the District of Columbia are being inundated with ads for Rep. Eric Cantor, who is facing a June 10 Republican primary that may be the toughest fight he has ever had.

In his most recent ad, he labels his opponent, college professor Dave Brat, as a “liberal college professor.”

Conservatives in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District have been seething about that ad, calling it false. Even Factcheck.org, which has a decidedly liberal bias, has called the ad “Misleading.”

The less charitable would call it a flat-out lie.

That begs a very important question: If Eric Cantor is such a good congressman, why does he have to lie about his opponent?

Mr. Cantor is the House majority leader. He is No. 2 in the House's leadership, behind Speaker John Boehner. If Boehner retires (as is widely reported in Washington that he is planning to do), Cantor is the odds-on favorite to become speaker.

Brat has raised almost $90,000 according to his most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission. Cantor has $2 million in the bank. After all, he is the House majority leader and the special interests are coming a-calling.

That is the way of Washington.

Cantor is using that money to try and define his opponent. By attacking Brat, he takes the focus off of his record.

As majority leader, Cantor has set up more than 50 votes to repeal Obamacare. That is impressive. Each of those votes had as much chance of passing the Senate as the Chicago Cubs have of winning the World Series.

The votes were a joke. Cantor has bragged about all of those votes, knowing they were nothing more than symbolic.

Last year, when the House finally voted to defund Obamacare, Cantor struck with his ultimate revenge on America.

In order for a bill to be signed into law by the president, the House and Senate must pass identical bills. The House cannot pass a bill, have the Senate change it, and then send the revised bill to the president.

All bills have certain rules that go along with them. Cantor came up with an idea that was a little too clever.

He crafted a rule that went along with the House budget bill that would have allowed the Senate to strip out  defunding of Obamacare, and then, instead of having to send the bill back to the House, under this rule, it could go straight to President Obama’s desk for signature.

If Dave Brat had money for TV ads, he would probably be talking about these issues. If he had money for TV ads, he would probably be talking about how the national debt and government spending have soared under Eric Cantor’s watch. He would probably talk about how Cantor has been somewhat less than useless to the conservative cause in Washington. He would probably talk about how Cantor, instead of being a leader, has embraced John Boehner’s freshly laundered white flag of surrender.

If Dave Brat had money for ads, he would probably talk about how Eric Cantor’s top political objective is amnesty. That is something that does not sit well with the conservative base.

This Saturday, Republicans in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District will hold their convention and elect a chairman for the district. The race for district chairman pits Cantor’s hand-picked henchman against a man who is backed by tea party and liberty activists throughout the district.

The results will be interesting and may foretell what will happen in the primary in June.

In the meantime, conservative voters in Cantor’s district keep asking, “If he is such a good congressman, why does he have to lie?”

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