Tammy Haddad spoke with Eric Cantor, R-Va., for the Oct. 24 edition of "National Journal On Air." This is an edited transcript of their conversation.
Q. In an interview earlier, I asked McCain surrogate and Virginia congressman Eric Cantor who he thinks will win Virginia.
Cantor: Well, I do think at the end of the day that John McCain wins Virginia because it does come down to the economy here, and the fact is Virginia is very much a defense-oriented state. And when you look at Barack Obama's record and his plan for the national security of this country, he is advocating massive defense spending cuts. What that will mean to the people of Virginia is a tremendous amount of job losses. That is not something that the people of this state necessarily want or can tolerate in these dire economic times.
Q. Congressman Cantor also spoke about the people who live in the districts of Virginia.
Cantor: And you know from the greater Richmond area and the central part of the state and the southern district, which is very much McCain country, there is a lot of support for him in the Shenandoah Valley, and -- as well as southwest and Southside. The competitive areas of Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads will be where the showdown is, and these are the areas of the state that have very much depended on defense and defense spending by the federal government. And the important fact is, here, that Senator Obama has not been a champion of the military, and in fact is advocating massive defense cuts -- again, which is a policy that will not be favorable toward the families of Virginia in these economic times.
Q. Congressman Cantor also talked about Sarah Palin's impact on this all-important state.
Cantor: Well, I can tell you, Tammy, from where I sit I see that Sarah Palin has done a tremendous job in energizing not only the Republican base but has also spoken to and connects with the, you know, the people of this state and the people of this country that, frankly, aren't necessarily partisan-inclined. The everyday families out there that have two working spouses that are busy taking their kids after school to soccer games and trying to pay the mortgage and make the bills work at the end of the month -- that's the kind of person that she is. She is the middle class in this country, and I think she connects very well with those types of people, which is the backbone of this country.
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