Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), who was ousted in a 2014 primary by Dave Brat because of his support for amnesty for illegal immigrants, will endorse Jeb! “Act of Love” Bush.
According to a Politico report, Cantor will formally endorse Bush on Thursday evening “at a fundraiser in Richmond and then will appear with him Friday morning” at another campaign event.
A Cantor source told the outlet that Bush and Cantor “have known each other for a long time, speak regularly and have great mutual respect for one another. Eric believes he is the only candidate with a real long-term vision for the country who can also actually implement it – not just talk about it.”
Another “top Republican involved in the negotiations” reportedly said, “This is a big deal for Eric, and a big deal for Jeb.”
It has come full circle for the GOP country club establishment set since Messrs. Bush, Cantor, and Romney formed the doomed National Council for a New America after Barack Obama was elected in 2008. The trio gathered at a Northern Virginia pizza joint to much fanfare from the establishment and the GOP “smart set” and “reformers.” But voters weren’t buying their repackaged and stale policy solutions and the plug was pulled just a little more than a year after it formed.
In 2012, Romney never won the hearts of conservatives, many of whom held their noses while voting for him, and got trounced by Barack Obama in the general election. Obama obliterated Romney, 81%-18%, on the question of which candidate “cares about people like me.”
In 2014, Cantor became the first sitting Majority Leader in history to be ousted because he was out of touch with his district on amnesty and support for increases in various high-tech visa programs that would give jobs to foreigners over Americans. His loss ended any chance of comprehensive amnesty legislation being passed in Congress.
The anti-establishment forces that ousted Cantor are even stronger in the 2016 presidential election cycle, as non-politicians like Donald Trump and Ben Carson have been surging while establishment and traditional politicians have struggled to gain traction.
But that has not deterred Cantor from endorsing Bush, who has said conservatives must be willing to lose the primary to win the general election and insisted that he can convince conservatives to see the merits of amnesty. Bush, whose “low-energy” and wobbly campaign has gotten off to an inauspicious start, has been dropping in the polls. The latest Quinnipiac poll has Bush at 7%, tied with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and behind frontrunner Donald Trump (28%) and Dr. Ben Carson (12%).