Bill O'Reilly: Cantor Didn't Lose Because of Amnesty
Dave Brat's shocking upset of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) on Tuesday was widely seen as a referendum against amnesty legislation, but Fox News Host Bill O'Reilly refused to credit Cantor's loss on his support for amnesty, especially for the children of illegal immigrants.
"House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost big last night to a Tea Party candidate, David Brat in Virginia. The race was not even close," O'Reilly said on his Wednesday show on Fox News. "Some analysts believe Mr. Cantor alienated Republican voters because of his stance on immigration. 'Talking Points' does not believe that was the primary reason for Mr. Cantor's defeat."
O'Reilly said that it was "hard to know why" Cantor lost but said voters may have viewed Cantor as someone who was "living large and perhaps the voters in Virginia saw that." O'Reilly cited campaign finance disclosures that showed Cantor's campaign spent more at one steakhouse than Brat spent on his entire campaign, as Breitbart News reported.
What O'Reilly failed to mention is that voters galvanized against Cantor only after Brat started to hammer home the amnesty issue.
As Breitbart News reported, "Though Brat spoke about a host of other issues, he only started to surge when he centered his campaign around amnesty, after he saw his opening," causing Cantor's campaign to flood the mailboxes of "his district's voters with deceptive anti-amnesty mailers in the weeks before the primary."
Brat told voters that his primary was the "last chance" to stop amnesty legislation and declared in an op-ed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch that amnesty was the campaign's central issue.
"The central policy issue in this race has become Cantor’s absolute determination to pass an amnesty bill. Cantor is the No. 1 cheerleader in Congress for amnesty," Brat wrote. "This is not the Republican way to fix our economy and labor markets."
Brat said a vote for Cantor is a vote for "open borders" and emphasized Cantor's declaration that one of the country's "founding principles" was that children are not penalized for the mistakes of their parents. Brat called this "one of the most radical pro-amnesty statements ever delivered by a sitting representative." In fact, Brat blamed Cantor's words for causing a flood of illegal immigrants to cross the border. As Breitbart Texas first reported, many of those illegal immigrants had to be warehoused.
"Once you announced that kids are welcome, they're going to head in," Brat said on Breitbart News Sunday.
When Laura Ingraham, who has used her national radio program to oppose amnesty legislation, campaigned for Brat, she hammered the amnesty issue.
"I have this crazy idea, as does Dave Brat, that coming to our country, respecting our way of life, our laws, is a condition precedent to your becoming an American citizen," Ingraham said at the event.
In the final week of the campaign, Breitbart News reported the significance of an ad by the We Deserve Better independent PAC, which "warned voters in Cantor's district that Cantor would cut a deal with Obama to give 'amnesty and citizenship' to illegal immigrants." Brat sent out mailers highlighting Cantor's embrace of Facebook co-founder and pro-amnesty advocate Mark Zuckerberg, and nearly all of his campaign literature attacked Cantor on amnesty.
O'Reilly may have reasons for wanting to spin Tuesday's shocker in his "no spin zone," though. O'Reilly, like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), supported the Senate's amnesty bill, which the Congressional Budget Office determined would lower the wages of American workers O'Reilly has vowed to look out for.