After conservatives reacted to the news that Jeb Bush had courted and received an endorsement from former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the campaign defended its decision to bring him into the campaign.
“Cantor is a good man, who has a great reputation for his leadership in support of our ally Israel and on many other issues conservatives care about,” said Bush campaign communications director Tim Miller to Breitbart News.
Cantor was embarrassingly defeated in a Virginia primary race by Rep. David Brat in 2014. Brat was then a largely unknown college professor. A voracious fundraiser for the Republican party, Cantor went on to work for a Wall Street investment bank.
Miller pointed out that Jeb Bush had also been endorsed by Kay Coles James, a former official in his brother George W. Bush’s administration, who’d supported Brat’s challenge to Cantor.
“Winning elections is about bringing people in, not shutting them out,” Miller said.
In spite of Cantor’s high profile defeat, he was a coveted endorsement, courted by other Republican presidential candidates including Sen. Marco Rubio, Governor Chris Christie and Governor Scott Walker, according to a source close to Cantor in TIME.