May 3rd, 2009
09:27 AM ET
6 years ago

Cantor: 'We've got a lot to learn' from Obama

Cantor acknowledged that the GOP is playing catchup on technology.
Cantor acknowledged that the GOP is playing catchup on technology.

(CNN) - House Minority Whip Eric Cantor tells CNN's John King that the GOP still has a lot to learn from President Obama.

"President Obama is a great communicator. We understand that," he said in an interview that aired on CNN's State of the Union Sunday. "He's also been very adept at adopting the technology of today to access the youth vote and the younger population of this country. That's the future, and I believe we've got a lot to learn. The Republican Party can't keep doing things the way it always has in terms of technology."

Cantor, along with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, held the kick off event Saturday for the National Council for a New America, a high-profile Republican effort to engage a diverse group of voters.

One new GOP face who seems to disagree with Cantor's point of view: Meghan McCain, whose father John McCain is involved with the NCNA effort.

"Simply embracing technology isn't going to fix our problem," the 24-year-old told a gay Republican group last month. "Republicans using Twitter and Facebook isn't going to miraculously make people think we're cool again. Breaking free from obsolete positions and providing real solutions that don't divide our nation further will."

The NCNA is planning to hold a series of town halls across the country in the coming months in an effort to re-cast the party’s image.


Filed under: Eric Cantor • Meghan McCain • State of the Union
soundoff (176 Responses)
  1. say what?

    "Simply embracing technology isn't going to fix our problem," the 24-year-old told a gay Republican group last month...

    Did I see it right? Gay Republican group? Was this a typo? This is better be corrected! You dont need more problems CNN. Fix the text of your report!

    May 3, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  2. Dee

    It is well and great that the GOP wants to redefine itself. But I wish someone would remember who won the election in November and was inaugurated in January. All I hear is 2012 from the Repubs. What about working together NOW to solve our real and frightening problems? We have an elected President and Congress. Let them do their job instead of talking about the next election. It reminds me of little children who refuse to face reality–stomp their feet and turn their backs. That attitude does not become adults whom we have elected to represent our interests and our hope for the future.

    May 3, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  3. Ken in NC

    I just went to the Republican website and had a good laugh. It is like the Republican Party beginning to use computers for the first time and they are running on Tandy Machines in 2009. It ran so slow with bad buffering, plain and drab too. They listed "National Leaders" that consisted of about 15 Old White Men, Only 2 women (Palin not included thank God), one Indian (Jindal) and no other minorities ( Hispanics or Blacks).

    If this is the manner by which they will demonstrate to the public how they are going across the country listening to the public and being inclusive of all. Great job Republicans. Keep it up. If this is your way of moving forward, I am sure you will have the support of the Democratic Party also.

    May 3, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  4. Tim

    The Republicans do have a lot to learn....Period. No.1: Do not let a Bush speak as one of the "New Voices of the Party. I guess they just can't figure that one out.

    May 3, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  5. Anne

    You go, girl. Isn't it funny that there is only voice of sanity in the Republican party! It would be heartening to see other Republicans speak out on the side of truth. What are those old codgers thinking? National Council for a New America!!? There is a new America. The change that Americans voted for was for a change from the last 8 years, not the last 100 days.

    May 3, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  6. Swine Flu denier

    They are all still out of touch.. Ron Pal got more younger voters than Obama did

    May 3, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  7. kevin

    That's right, Cantor: Obama one becuase he can use a blackberry better than you, that's all.

    You keep on thinking that, Einstein.

    May 3, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  8. Ryan

    Here's something else you Republicans can learn – Young people hate you. We find you condescending, obsolete, arrogant, and can't site a single example where you've helped out mankind.
    Just because you finally figured out facebook – the easiest brain-dead website to master..... doesn't mean you're suddenly cool.
    Fortunately, trends escape you so often that you'll never be one step ahead.... let alone two. The GOP is going to be the WHIG party soon- a memory.

    May 3, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  9. William

    Meagan McCain said:

    ""Republicans using Twitter and Facebook isn't going to miraculously make people think we're cool again."

    I wasn't aware that republicans were ever cool.

    May 3, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  10. Soho

    Twitter, text, email, Facebook, Myspace, Yourspace, whatever, the Republicans can't seem to grasp that it is not the form of their communication, but it's content. They have not seem to grasp the gravity of the world economic repression, the environmental problems looming for our future, or have any sensible solutions. If I hear one more time that tax cuts to the wealthiest will trickle down to fix all this, I'll flog them with my tea bags. (Is that considered a form of torture Dick?)

    May 3, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  11. Greg

    The simplest way for the GOP to be resurrected is to avoid people like Gengrich, Limbaugh, and Hannity. There is an urgent need for the party to listen more to new ideas. Colin Powell, John McCain have a lot to offer as far as far regainning credibility from those who don't call themselves conservatives. Now it's all about connection with new voters.

    May 3, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  12. Streamwood Bill

    "Breaking free from obsolete positions and providing real solutions that don't divide our nation further will." – M. McCain

    With all the "wisdom" that Republican leadership can muster getting them nowhere, a 24-year old GOP gal says it all in one sentance.

    This is what it will take to bring me back to the Republican Party ... Meghan, not Rush.

    May 3, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  13. Polly

    He is not a great communicator.

    May 3, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  14. david

    the bush years, john mccain selecting palin, meghan flapping her jaws were probably the major reasons many republicans, independents, nra members, and others voted for obama. obama/biden were the lesser of two evils and they were a change from the bush years. the economy melting down just before the election also drove many to vote for obama. as long as meghan keeps flapping her jaws trying to represent all republicans, the more many will be inclined to vote for obama next round and the more many will continue to support obama even in his continous screw ups.

    May 3, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  15. Paul

    Eric, changing your technology won't do it. Your poor solution is like putting lipstick on an old decrepit extremely wrinkled very ancient elephant. Although using Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney to highlight your new found change is like bringing out the old smelly clothes from the closet washing them and when finished they stil look and smell stale.

    May 3, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  16. Ray

    Now that's "lipstick on a pig."

    May 3, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  17. godblessusa

    "Breaking free from obsolete positions and providing real solutions that don't divide our nation further will." –

    For all the endless analysis and thousands of words written about the prognosis of the GOP, Meghan McCain nails it in a single sentence.

    May 3, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  18. Polly

    Just because you want to attract the younger votes, doesn't make your views wrong and their's right. Do not say things like we have a lot to learn from Obama. Do you know how to read a teleprompter? Are you young, black and "cool" to kids? Did you quit going to your church because it slammed America. Give me a break. I think your purpose might be that you want to learn how to communicate to them, understand them and relate to them so that you can have a discussion. Just get out and talk to them.

    May 3, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  19. Paul

    Eric, we know you are kissing up to the Republican Establisihment to get ahead someday. You are a bright guy, be an independent and leaves those old dinosaurs back where they came from.

    May 3, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  20. prairieguy

    I notice at the pizza party yesterday these so called leaders never addressed the "social issues"...Rush and the right will not go for that and they better be prepared for attack...Tepubs have no use for moderates...per M Steele in his interview Friday.

    Come sit at my table but shut up!!!!!

    May 3, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  21. Simmy

    Simply copying President Obama does not a success make.....The success has come because of the total package....He has it and he got it a long time ago.....He's not spinning a playbook, nor playing games....President Obama is genuine. He has a phenomenal persona...He is a once in a lifetime president.....You can't copy that.

    May 3, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  22. President Obama could walk on water and the Party of NO would still complain that he left footprints!

    "The NCNA is planning to hold a series of town halls across the country in the coming months in an effort to re-cast the party’s image"

    Translation: the NCNA will be conducting mobile KKK rallies and tea parities complete with the "tea-bagging" of middle America.

    May 3, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  23. VinceP1974

    My Gosh... Republicans can be so stupid.

    If you want to be as good as Obama all you have to do is read Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" and have a news media that is as far to the Left as you are.

    Wallah... You base your entire political career on deception about who you are, and the press will cover for you. You can go pretty far with that.

    Is that what the Republicans want to emulate? They should expose it not praise it. Fools.

    May 3, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  24. United We Stand

    Only the Republicans can imagine that trotting out Jeb Bush would signal change for their party. Helllllooooo??? Haven't we had enough of the Bush's to last a lifetime? And I mean that with all seriousness.

    May 3, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  25. JohnnyG

    The real problem with the republican party is that they have broken into two distinct factions. 1) The country club republicans (upper class, fiscal conservatives), and 2) The NASCAR republicans (religious right). These two groups really have VERY little in common. It's the most comical, bizarre political alliance that I've ever seen. I think we'll see a new, third party emerge in the near future. This alliance can't hold.

    May 3, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
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