HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – It was no coincidence that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor held his own job-creation event Friday.
Not long after President Obama scheduled his visit to Richmond, Cantor picked a late afternoon event on the same day to get as many eyeballs as possible on Republican efforts to create jobs.
It was a hot afternoon. A casual appearance. And decidedly non-confrontational at Titan America, a concrete and cement manufacturer in eastern Henrico.
"I was glad to see the president here," Cantor said at the beginning of his remarks.
Rep. Eric Cantor, the Republican house majority leader and chief critic of the president, agreed with several parts of the new Obama jobs plan. But he did take issue with at least one thing:
"The president was very insistent, I know, when he was here at the University of Richmond this morning as he was last night, that we pass his bill. There is no bill yet, but I can tell the president the all or nothing approach is something that hasn't worked in Washington over the last eight months, let's try a better way," Cantor said.
The "better way", he said, includes unleashing what he called the "entrepreneurial spirit" of America, allowing small businesses to grow when government gets out of the way.
"Some people believe that Washington and the federal government are there to guarantee a certain outcome. To guarantee success. And you know what? I just don't believe that that can happen," Cantor said.
Cantor called on the Obama administration to maintain a pledge of tax relief for small businesses, and rely less on borrowed money. He later took questions from the Titan America employees and members of the national media, whose presence signified the widespread interest in both sides of the jobs creation debate.
Cantor also said Republicans will go along with proposals that include middle class tax cuts, but indicated that any tax increases would be dead on arrival.
The tone was consistent with the way Cantor responded Thursday night, but very different than what we saw during the often contentious debt ceiling debate. Whether it indicates a change in Washington, remains to be seen.