Georgia Sixth District Congressman Tom Price addressed the unexpected loss by Rep. Eric Cantor in Virginia’s Seventh District, along with other topics of interest to Republicans at Saturday’s North Fulton County Republican Breakfast.
When asked for his thoughts on the Cantor loss by an attendee, Price admitted that no one on Capitol Hill saw the defeat coming. He listed three factors that contributed to the Majority Leader’s loss. The first was the ground game run by his challenger, Dave Brat, who Price predicted would be a good and productive member of the next Congress.
Price also thought that there the immigration reform issue really galvanized people to come out and vote, especially the large number of solo children gathered on the border recently. Price defended Cantor’s position on the immigration issue, though, saying voters thought Cantor had a more liberal position on the issue than he actually held.
Finally, he noted that due to his responsibilities as Majority Leader, Cantor spent too much time on the road, and did not pay attention to his district. Recalling the saying “All politics is local,” Price noted that it still applies.
Cantor’s loss, of course, will shake up GOP leadership in the House. Elections for the position of Majority Leader will be held by the Republican caucus next week, and Price told Peach Pundit he expects California Rep. and current Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy to win that election. As to who might then take the slot of Majority Whip, Price told us that race is “wide open.”
When he was asked by an attendee whether he planned to run for Speaker of the house, Price answered, “Not now,” saying he wanted to chair the House Budget Committee in the next Congress. He felt that would be a better way to represent the interests of the sixth congressional district.
In addition to discussing electoral politics, Price listed half a dozen issues that the House is dealing with this spring and summer.
The first was the situation with border security. Price said he was offended about the way the Obama administration was handling the issue, and the way the President allowed it to happen. He was equally upset by the way the administration had handled the situation in Iraq, calling the recent terrorist efforts in Iraq predictable when America turns its back on the situation. He said that the Obama administration disrespects the military, and predicted that not only Iraq but Afghanistan will eventually be lost.
He brought up what he called the ‘lawless Administration’ in the case of Bowe Bergdahl, the American soldier released after being held hostage. “We never negotiate for a prisoner swap,” Price said. He noted that as a result of the trade of five evil men at Guantanamo for Bergdhal, the price for the heads of all Americans just went up.
Price next addressed the scandal at the Veterans Administration. He noted a systemic dysfunction within the agency that went far beyond the inability to schedule timely appointments. Saying that existing VA facilities were brick and mortar albatrosses, the said the solution is the make sure that Veterans can to to private sector doctors if they need to.
Price told attendees he doesn’t believe the IRS when they said on Friday they couldn’t locate two years of emails sent to other agencies within the federal government. He called the IRS’s activities chilling, and an incredible breach of trust with the American people. Finally, he touched on the Benghazi investigation, claiming the administration was not being forthright and saying the House committee headed by Trey Gowdy will hold the administration to account until it explains what happens.
Summing up, he noted that the American people would likely be unaware of the six issues be discussed were it not for the Republican House conference. He called the upcoming Senate elections in November critical for the GOP to win, pointing out that all the House’s work “goes into Harry Reid’s bottom drawer,” never to be brought up in the Senate. A Republican Senate would hold the President to account, and point out the real differences between Republicans and Democrats leading into the 2016 Presidential election.
Congressman Price will be on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace this weekend to discuss the future of the Republican Party. It will be interesting to hear how well what he told his supporters today synchronizes with what he says to the nation tomorrow.