Painting himself as a conservative personification of the American Dream, Idaho Republican Rep. Raul Labrador called on his colleagues Monday to support his bid for house majority leader.
Labrador is facing Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy this week in a race to see who will replace House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who lost his House seat last week in a shocking primary defeat to a relative unknown.
Cantor announced he would be stepping down as majority leader shortly after his loss.
In a letter to House Republicans Monday, Labrador explained how “stunned” he was when Cantor, who he has repeatedly described as a friend, lost. The take away message from the election, he wrote however, is that “Americans are looking for a change in the status quo.”
According to Labrador, McCarthy — a current member of leadership who quickly amassed significant support in his bid for majority leader — is not a big enough change, hence Labrador’s run.
“Promoting, by acclamation, a member of the very Washington leadership that has failed to bridge the divide with Republicans outside Washington struck me as exactly the wrong response,” Labrador wrote Monday. “And so, I have decided to stand for Majority Leader – running not against anyone, but for everyone.”
The Idaho tea party Republican, elected in 2010, made a pitch for unity in the party, explaining that he believes he can bring the GOP together. Further, he argued that he — as the child of a single mother from Puerto Rico who has “lived the American Dream” — has the ability to show Americans that Washington is listening.
“Today, I believe our chief responsibility as House Republicans is to preserve that dream for America’s children and grandchildren,” Labrador wrote.
He went on to ask that those who have already committed to McCarthy “at least pause for a moment and consider me for this role” remembering that “the most important commitments we make are to the American people we represent.”
“Win or lose, I am committed to working with you to make sure our Conference is as outstanding as the members it represents,” he concluded.