WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Minority Whip Eric Cantor told CNN's John King that the Obama administration's position on the spending bill currently before Congress did not have "any credibility" and represented a "false position."
The Virginia Republican said on State of the Union Sunday that the White House's contention that the legislative process was too far along to change course was completely inaccurate. "Let’s call it how it is. First of all, if you make a promise, people expect that you live up to it. And that's why this administration's refusal to go in and change this bill is, I think, is a false position.
"There is no way anyone could take what Mr. Orszag has said with any credibility. Of course they’re negotiating on this bill in the Senate right now. To say that we would have drawn it differently, but leave $430 billion plus on the table like this? No way. People are expecting this administration to live up to the promises made."
Cantor denied that Republicans were being hypocritical by blasting earmarks while some GOP congressional leaders and key committee chairs had hundreds of millions of dollars worth of that spending in the bill, saying he and House Minority Leader John Boehner had asked their party to adopt a moratorium on the practice.
"There is no question that we’ve got to change this entire process, it is a system gone bad," he said.
Cantor sidestepped the controversy over remarks by Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele - who said in an interview published this weekend that the GOP was "mired in its own muck" - and conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh.
"Listen, the future of the Republican Party is tied to the future of this country. People right now are desperate for leadership, are desperate for us in this party as well as the other to begin talking about ideas that deal with the relevant challenges that they're facing every single day," he said.
"And it is not about individuals, it’s not about Rush, it's not about Rahm Emanuel, it’s not about any particular individual... if we do not begin to start acting more like adults in this town and produce so that people can get back to work, all of us are very concerned with where this country will end up."