GOP Leadership in ‘Chaos’ After Eric Cantor’s Loss

“We’re absolutely stunned.”

Caption:WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 25: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) (R) listens to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (L) speak after attending the weekly House Republican conference at the U.S. Capitol March 25, 2014 in Washington, DC. Speaker Boehner spoke on various issues including jobs and the unemployment rate.
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Billy House
June 10, 2014, 4:45 p.m.

Be­fuddle­ment hit and lingered with­in the House GOP lead­er­ship ranks as Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Eric Can­tor’s elec­tion fate was un­wind­ing on Tues­day. Can­tor lost in a ma­jor up­set to primary chal­lenger Dave Brat.

Speak­er John Boehner, in a state­ment from his of­fice late Tues­day night, said, “Eric Can­tor and I have gone through a lot to­geth­er.”

“He’s a good friend and a great lead­er, and someone I’ve come to rely upon on a daily basis as we make the tough choices that come with gov­ern­ing,” ad­ded Boehner, who said his thoughts Tues­day night were with Can­tor, his wife Di­ana, and their kids.

A seni­or Re­pub­lic­an lead­er­ship aide de­scribed the mood as “chaos for the lead­er­ship ranks.”

“We’re ab­so­lutely stunned. Hon­estly, we really can’t be­lieve it,” said the aide, who likened it to the 2004 elec­tion de­feat of Tom Daschle of South Dakota, who was Sen­ate minor­ity lead­er at the time.

“Giv­en the spec­u­la­tion Boehner him­self may de­cide not to run again for speak­er, the idea had been out there that Can­tor would simply walk in­to the speak­er­ship,” said the aide. “But now, who the hell would be the next speak­er?” — par­tic­u­larly, the aide ad­ded, if Paul Ry­an doesn’t want it, or Rep. Tom Price of Geor­gia isn’t in­ter­ested.

And there are more im­me­di­ate ques­tions — in­clud­ing wheth­er Can­tor would step down as ma­jor­ity lead­er right away, giv­en the no-con­fid­ence vote of his own con­stitu­ents.

“Every­one knows it was a tough race out there. But when you have all the money in the world, spend those re­sources — in the long run, money usu­ally wins out,” said the aide.


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