Quote of the Day: Eric Cantor Says Obama Just Doesn’t Understand Him

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From Eric Cantor, criticizing the fact that President Obama hasn’t done much to develop personal relationships with House leaders:

The president could benefit himself and the country a lot by developing those relationships and understanding where conservatives are, instead of just thinking that he knows where we are.

Um….and just what would Obama learn if he did this? I mean, don’t get me wrong. Schmoozing is part of the job, and Obama should probably do more of it, whether he likes it or not. But is Cantor seriously suggesting that his positions, and the positions of the tea-party wing of the party that he leads, are even slightly nebulous? That Obama might learn about some surprising new areas of compromise if he talked to Cantor more? Seriously?

For more on this, I commend to your attention Ryan Lizza’s account of Cantor’s role in the 2011 debt ceiling fight. Based on Cantor’s own testimony to Lizza, it wasn’t really Obama’s request for more revenue that killed the deal. Regardless of the size of the revenue increase, Cantor just flatly didn’t want to reach an agreement. He didn’t want to give Obama a political win, and figured that a failed deal would hurt Obama enough that Republicans could win the presidency and then write their own bill. Behind the scenes, he persuaded Boehner to go along, and the deal was dead.

Maybe Cantor is a changed man, and he wants the chance to prove it to Obama. But what are the odds?

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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