INTERVIEW: Meet the Candidates: Eric Cantor

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If the polls are correct, local congressman Eric Cantor is on the doorstep of becoming one of the most powerful men in Washington.

If the Republicans retake the house, Cantor is on track to become the House Majority Leader, a position that makes him the second most powerful member of Congress and he joins us live on First at Four.

RYAN: Thank you for being here, sir.

ERIC CANTOR: Ryan, good to be here.

RYAN: Especially since tomorrow is a busy day, so we appreciate you taking the time. Even though much of your campaign has dealt with where you stand nationally, you do, of course, have to win a race here locally first tomorrow, and I want to talk about your local campaign. You've received some criticism that you haven't been giving much access to people who don't necessarily think the same way you do. Do you think that is a fair criticism? Do you think people with an opposing view of you have been given the opportunity to talk to you about this year's race?

ERIC CANTOR: Absolutely. And, you know, we've had, you know, a series of events where there have been people of all political persuasions and ideologies that have come, whether its in the Greater Richmond area, in Culpeper where this district stretches to, in the northern parts, so it is about trying to make sure the voters understand where I am, where my voting record is, and obviously, Ryan, I've been in the middle of the national debate leading the opposition to the [President Barack] Obama agenda, whether it's the Healthcare bill or whether it's Cap and Trade bill, the Card Check Measure. I think my positions are fairly well known and we're continuing, though, to talk to people about the problems they face and how we can find a better way.

RYAN: But there have been a few incidents at your campaign rallies, of course, one in Louisa where a man was arrested because of what went on there. Do you think that has anything to do with the access you're allowing people at campaigns, or Democrats and Independents welcome to these events?

ERIC CANTOR: Absolutely and I think you have to ask Louisa law enforcement officials that actually made the arrest. I wasn't at the event when the incident occurred, but it is always that we are open to anybody who wants to come, but I think what had happened there was there was an individual intent on violating the law, and that's why the law enforcement took the action they did. It wasn't anything on the part of our campaign, but, you know, again, we're always open for folks who want to come and, you know, participate in the discussion. I think, again that incident, somebody was there to want to protest to, want to cause a ruckus, and ended up violating the law.

RYAN: Let's talk about the Tea Party. What is your perception of the Tea Party and you're not necessarily a hero in the Tea Party. Do you think that's a problem for you moving forward because they're becoming a more powerful force on the right?

ERIC CANTOR:  The Tea Party folks, remember what the acronym stands for, Tax Enough Already. These are individuals much like Independents, Republicans and Democrats this election, who are just fed up with Washington. They want to see results. They want to see spending cuts. They want to see people get back to work. There's a strong focus on returning to the constitutionally limited government and free markets that made this country and it is, I think, for them, just as for most people, trying to see Washington get this country back on track, trying to see Washington start working for the people again and not the other way around.

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