President Barack Obama is rethinking his stance on immigration reform after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (REP) lost in a GOP Primary to a Tea Party Challenger on Tuesday.
Cantor’s stunning defeat sent shockwaves through Washington yesterday as Republicans, and even Democrats, sat up and took notice.
Many say Cantor thought he was too much of a big shot in Washington to return home to Virginia to personally campaign against Dave Brat, an economics professor.
Cantor is the first sitting House Majority leader to lose in a primary in the history of American politics.
The defeat sent a strong signal to Washington that Americans are fed up with Washington’s politics — particularly on immigration reform.
Cantor spent $5 million on his losing campaign, while Brat spent just north of $100,000 (that’s not a typo) to defeat the House Majority leader.
In a phone interview with Fox’s Sean Hannity last night, Brat noted, “dollars don’t vote, people do.”
“Eric Cantor’s loss tonight is an apocalyptic moment for the GOP establishment. The grassroots is in revolt and marching,” said Brent Bozell, a veteran conservative activist and founder of the Media Research Center and ForAmerica.
“I know there are a lot of long faces here tonight, and, um, it’s disappointing, sure,” said Cantor on Tuesday.
“That miracle did not just float down from Heaven,” said Brat in his victory speech.
The Chicago Tribune notes that “The result could halt efforts to craft a House immigration reform bill, as nervous Republicans hustle to protect themselves against future challenges” in upcoming November elections.
From Chicago Tribune:
Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives, was easily beaten by college economics professor David Brat, who accused Cantor of betraying conservative principles on spending, debt and immigration.
It could also make Republicans even more hesitant to cooperate with President Barack Obama and Democrats for fear of being labeled a compromiser.
Cantor had been seen by many as an eventual successor to House Speaker John Boehner, and his defeat will mean a shake-up in the Republican leadership at the end of the year among House members nervous about the depth of public anger toward Congress.
A seven-term congressman with ties to the financial industry, Cantor had spent more than $5 million to head off the challenge from Brat, a political newcomer who teaches at Randolph-Macon College.