Campaign 2010

Apr 28, 2010

Revisionist History: Eric Cantor Looks in Mirror and Says I Didnít Do It

Republican Whip Eric Cantor gave another edition of his “revisionist history” exercise in an article for the right-wing Big Government website today where he claimed that the leadership of the Republican party in Washington today doesn’t resemble the failed leadership of the majority of this decade. Cantor, however, was elected to Congress in 2000 and served in the Republican leadership since 2002 – through much of the Bush term. Throughout his time in leadership, Washington Republicans brought us government of the special interests: Wall Street banks, credit card companies, Big Oil, and insurance companies.

 

“If Eric Cantor and Washington Republicans just change their rhetoric but don’t change the tainted players or the bad ideas, then their claim to new Republican leadership is nothing more than revisionist history,” said Jesse Ferguson, Southern Regional Press Secretary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Eric Cantor wants families to look at eight years of failed Republican policies and claim he wasn’t involved. But, in fact, it was Eric Cantor and Republican leadership that brought us the failed economic and fiscal policies that brought on the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Now Washington Republicans want to convince voters that the same people with the same failed policies will bring about something different. For Eric Cantor to look in the mirror and pretend he wasn’t at the helm of the Bush disaster is the worst kind of extreme makeover.”

 

 

FACT CHECK

 

Cantor Rhetoric: “But the GOP in the House today is different. Very different. Led by a new generation of young and energetic leaders, we are committed to restoring the public’s trust in our ability to lead as responsible adults.”

 

Reality: Cantor was a key player in Republican scandals of the past. Cantor has faced a number of ethical questions including ties to lobbyists and misuse of taxpayer money for political purposes. In 2009, he started the National Council for a New America, a group that ultimately ”flamed out” after a number of questions about its use of taxpayer money for political meetings. A Roll Call editorial said, “Cantor should reimburse his House account from his campaign account or leadership political action committee for the staff resources that he has used.” Cantor also had close ties to disgraced lobbyists Jack Abramoff who actually named a sandwich at his deli after Cantor during a fundraiser, an event that drew criticism since Cantor initially failed to report the debt to Abramoff’s deli. During legal problems surrounding Tom DeLay, Roll Call wrote that “Cantor appears to have acquired a new role: chief defender of Majority Leader Tom DeLay.” [Roll Call, 5/13/09; Time, 11/28/05; Jewish Forward, 6/20/03; Politico, 8/10/09]