Skip to comments.Cantor complains Pelosi refuses to meet with him
Posted on 06/08/2009 5:48:45 PM PDT by jazusamo
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) says he has requested to meet privately with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) this year, but has been repeatedly rebuffed.
In an interview with The Hill, the minority whip said, I have been told that Speaker Pelosi doesnt like to meet with Republicans I would say that is the case in my instance. I have put in requests to meet with her and have yet to be responded to.
Hours later, Cantor would be on the House floor, questioning whether the Speaker should continue to receive intelligence briefings.
In his floor comments, Cantor grilled Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), claiming that Pelosi should no longer receive briefings in the wake of her accusation that the CIA lied to her about the use of torture in 2003.
The Hoyer-Cantor exchange became testy, with Hoyer asserting that he is confounded by Cantors logic, calling it incomprehensible.
Pelosis office did not comment for this article.
The five-term lawmaker doesnt mind making creating uncomfortable moments for Democrats. And when he throws partisan bombs at his political adversaries, he rarely raises his voice.
He gets under the skin of congressional Democrats effectively, whether it be on tax policies, climate change or the International Monetary Fund. Love him or hate him, Cantor keeps the pressure on the majority party.
As a result, five months into his leadership job, Cantor has become a prime target for the left. With Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) on the back nine of his political career, liberals have gone after the 46-year-old Cantor, labeling him Mr. No.
Cantor says he knows it comes with the territory: Who said this thing was easy? ... There is give and take, there is room for public discourse and sometimes it gets a little more vehement than other times, and thats whats to be expected.
Few, if any, political analysts believe that Republicans will retake the House next year. But Cantor, the only Jewish Republican in Congress, is undeterred: Weve got a shot of taking back this House. I think that prospect is largely based on the American peoples desire for a check and balance of power here in Washington. When youve got a situation where theres an unfettered ability to run the table and the direction in which theyre heading is far outside the mainstream, I think that that creates an environment for Republican takeover in the House.
There has been friction between Cantor and Boehner in the 111th Congress, but Cantor laughs off the palace intrigue.
John Boehner and I have a great relationship, Cantor said, adding, Were together; were a team.
Cantor scored a huge win earlier this year when he rallied the entire GOP conference against the $787 billion economic stimulus package. Cantor acknowledges it was not easy, but he won over skeptical GOP lawmakers by mastering the details of the legislation.
Unlike former GOP Whip Tom DeLay (Texas), Cantor favors reason over strong-arm tactics.
Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), who has bucked Republican leaders on many high-profile issues, said, Eric will try to get you to rethink your position, but he respects your opinion when you tell him your mind is made up.
I have always found him to be very reasonable, Jones said. Thats the kind of image this party needs.
Cantor has experienced bumps in the road in 2009. After his colleagues in leadership called the AIG bonus bill a sham, Cantor unexpectedly voted to back the legislation. At the time, lawmakers questioned his ability to stand up to what they called popular but seriously flawed legislation.
With the spotlight on him brighter than ever, some say he will learn from his missteps.
Still, Cantor is widely respected by his Republican peers in Congress. He is an avid fundraiser and comfortable talking about policy, a key skill that has helped him climb the leadership ladder.
President Obama called out Cantor during a meeting with lawmakers in February, saying he cant wait for the day when Cantor praises one of his ideas.
Cantor says he admires the president and has little interest in rebuking him personally. He is more than willing to take on Democratic policies, and anxious to talk about other Democratic personalities, most notably Pelosi.
Pressed on why voters should embrace the GOP and where its new ideas are, Cantor gets a bit animated, saying, Its not about new ideas/old ideas. Its about delivering. Its about what works here, OK?
He also rejects the notion that the public wants more government intervention in the wake of the financial meltdown, saying that the regulations in place didnt make sense the emphasis on the means, rather than the ends I think its sometimes misplaced.
Cantor faces the challenging task of getting the Republican Party better positioned on the economy, stressing that Americans are worried about the bottom line, their jobs and the nations fiscal future.
Like the president and congressional Democrats, Cantor faces huge tests in keeping his party in line on healthcare reform and climate change.
He rattles off talking points on each issue, but appears most eager to tackle energy, the Speakers flagship issue.
The Speaker intends there to be a broad discussion [on energy] by July 4, a smiling Cantor said. Lets have it. Lets have it.
Katelyn Ferral contributed to this article.
Excerpts of The Hills interview with Minority Whip Eric Cantor
Q: After the 2008 elections, a lot of people thought that you could have had the votes to become minority leader. Did you consider jumping into that race, as opposed to the whip?
A: Ive always been a supporter of John Boehner to be minority leader and continue to support him in that role, and Im working very hard so that he can become Speaker.
Q: Another 2008 issue that wed love to put to bed were you vetted by the McCain campaign to be vice president? Your name came up a bit in that context.
A: You know, I consistently say to that: Ask Sen. McCain hes the one that would be able to best communicate to you a response to that.
Q: Is the Earth warming or cooling? Is the problem man-made?
A: Well, I think that everybody well, I dont know if everybody, but most people have sort of come to the point at which the fact of carbon emissions is not something that is a good thing, necessarily, in excess. So I think we can all agree on that principle, and so we all agree that we need to basically clean up our mess.
Q: The Capitol, as you know, is a place of relationships, and there has been a lot of chatter about your relationship with Leader Boehner. How often do you talk to Mr. Boehner, and what about all this chatter that there is friction?
A: You know, whats amazing to me is this fascination with what goes on between John Boehner and I. We have a great relationship. We speak every day, and our staffs speak every day I mean, were together; were a team. Look at whats going on the other side they have divisions galore. Where is the focus on the differences that exist between Speaker Pelosi and Leader Hoyer?
Q: On the national stage, some Republicans have been getting a lot of attention, including Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh. Is that taking away from your microphone, from the microphone of Republicans in Congress?
A: These are individuals who are formally elected officials, some whove not been in office. They have a right to a voice and a part of the debate.
Q: Do you think its beneficial that Republicans are using terms like racist or reverse racist for the Supreme Court nominee? Doesnt that hurt your party?
A: Listen, I dont use those terms and I dont think that they should be used. I think the proper focus on [Sonia] Sotomayor is her opinions rendered from the bench.
Q: You said earlier this year that Republicans can win back the House in 2010. Do you still believe theres a chance?
A: I think that weve got a shot of taking back this House this time and I think that prospect is largely based on the American peoples desire for a check and balance of power here in Washington. When youve got a situation where theres an unfettered ability to run the table, and the direction in which theyre heading is far outside the mainstream, I think that that creates an environment for Republican takeover in the House.
Q: But if you look at the presidents poll numbers, the Republican loss in the 20th district in New York earlier this year, Sen. [Arlen] Specter (D-Pa.) leaving the party, how can you make that argument?
A: In 1994 we picked up 50 seats; we need 40 seats [in 2010]. It is my sense that the popularity of the president wont necessarily translate into success
in congressional seats. It is much more what this Congress has done, what it can show it has done.
Look the CIA lied so how can America trust that agency any longer. The Speaker should put forth legislation to shut the agency down. Unless of course she meant the CIA only lies when the President is a Republican! Is that it?
I guess we’ll never known, she’s refused to talk further about it. Sheesh!
Yeah, hopefully it’ll rub off.
Being that Cantor is Jewish, it should be made known that Pelosi is anti semitic. She HATES JEWS!
Maybe that’s part of it, didn’t know that.
only Jewish Republican in congress, I believe.
Nazi Pelousy is an ANTI SEMITE!!!!!
btw, I hope the CIA, NSA, FBI, and anyone else who can is gathering info on Pelosi to use against her. These demoncrats running DC are flushing this country down the toilet. The Pubes better grow a pair and make a very good case while the dems, the party who is selling out american, needs to be voted out of office.
I didn’t know Pelosi was an anti semite but it doesn’t surprise me.
The article says he is the only Jewish Repub in Congress.
Wonder why he is surprised?
Can’tor is a weak and whiny RINO.
I lost all faith in GOP House leadership.
It’s time to replace Boner and Can’tor with Pence and McClintock.
lol, I am not saying that she is but that she should be claimed that that is the reason why she won’t meet with Cantor. Can also add why Pelosi has also been dissing Jane Harmon, who is also Jewish (but a dem). Paint Pelosi in a negative light regardless if it’s true or not. THAT’S POLITICS FOLKS!
It must be true cuz she hates Harmon too. :)
One thing is sure. She should not be able to simply refuse to deal with something and have it go away.
it’s up to republicans to vocalize this snub and continue to cast Pelosi in a bad light. Unfortunately Repubs have no idea how to do this and have no one sympathetic to them in the main stream media unless Fox jumps in.
It's a little early to be making those kind of broad generalizations. Zero is pushing his policies and agendas at a very fast pace. This same fast pace could cause the worm to turn even faster.