Cantor defends Peter King
March 8th, 2011
04:43 PM ET
7 years ago

Cantor defends Peter King

Washington (CNN) - House Majority Leader Eric Cantor Tuesday defended Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King for holding a series of hearings on the "radicalization" of the American Muslim community and that community's response to it.

The number two House GOP leader pointed to the 2009 attack at Fort Hood by a Muslim American soldier on fellow U.S. soldiers, and maintained that King's committee's job is to deal with potential threats to U.S. security.

"We have got demonstrable occurrences in this country that show we've got a risk of the spread of radical Islam," Cantor said. "That's not within the security interests of the United States and its citizens –something we really want to work with folks to see if we can stop."

Asked about the attention on the hearing, Cantor downplayed it, saying, "I think it's one hearing out of many that he's having," and said the news media has "become fascinated with this hearing."

But Cantor added, "I would say to you it's pretty obvious where some of the problems have been in terms of terrorist activity. There's no question that it has been encouraged by the radicalization of folks coming out of Central Asia and the Middle East and have used this as a reason to perpetrate terrorist acts. Again, that's a fairly well accepted notion at this point and that's where Chairman King has gone."

Pressed about the backlash from the Muslim American community to King's hearings, Cantor said, "People are free to react the way they want." But then the GOP leader restated his concern about the issue, saying, "I believe that we in this country are threatened by the spread of radical Islam both abroad and at home."

Filed under: Eric Cantor • Peter King
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. kayla

    i wonder what you call the white shooter in tuscon? is'nt that a terrorist act?

    March 8, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  2. ja

    how do you account for the tim mcvieghs, and the boy in the arizona massacre, stupid, maniac behavior crosses all racial and religious lines, america have homegrown terrorist groups, the socalled tea party is on the firnges

    March 8, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  3. Obamacare = Romneycare v1.01

    Perhaps Muslims need to understand that being insulted and then persecuted for political reasons by the Republican Party is a Rite of Passage in the U.S.

    In other words, you can't be a real American until your group's loyalty has been questioned by some McCarthy/King type under the guise of some bogus Congressional hearing.

    So all I can say is "Welcome!" ... just remember who to vote for (or against) next year.

    March 8, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  4. ConservaFascists/F.U.B.A.R.

    "Jihad Jane" was radicalized and she was as caucasion they come. So Mr. King singling out the muslim community as a whole is wrong.

    March 8, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. chuck

    Good for Peter King! The Pakistani's refuse to admit to extremism within their government and their non-Muslim government officials are dropping like flies at the hands of terrorists. When the murders are done, they have public outpourings of support for the terrorists. No other officials will attend the funerals of these murdered civil servants and none will speak openly about the lack of civility in regards to outdated blasphemy laws and the peaceful coexistence of religions. Thank goodness the United States has a history of dialogue and King hasn't been convinced to shelve this debate by knee jerk Muslims who insist that the debates are harming them while seemingly ignoring the fact that the terrorists are doing the greatest harm while they stand conspicuously silent and without a collective voice of disapproval of terrorist activities throughout the globe.

    March 8, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    The bottom line is......most of the attacks on the US are made by Muslims, both foreign and domestic.

    March 8, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  7. OneMoreTime

    First, would expect no less from this person. Sad that he did not have the same fortitude to "defend" Speaker
    Boehner when he was attacked by that Tea Party person. This guy will say and do anything because it is becoming
    more and more obvious that he wants Boehner's job very badly.
    Secondly, saying the news media "has become fascinated with this hearing" just adds to my total disgust of
    these dunceheads blaming the media for every silly thing they say. Most of the time the media is only reporting
    what was said, and if these people don't like, well don't say it. After they see their words in print, or on
    TV, hopefully they realize how foolish they look and sound, and blame everybody and their dog for their
    own stupidity. I will thank the media, those who report in an unbiased manner, for letting the American people
    know what is going on. In fact, sometimes I wish they would dig a little deeper, ask harder questions,
    call them on their own words and demand answers. We pay their salaries, and we are their employers
    and they owe us explanations for their threats, demands, nastiness, and why they are not doing their
    jobs. GO MEDIA!

    March 8, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  8. J-NW

    Will King or Cantor ever call to attention that the USA produces by far the largest amount of weapons – distributing to an endless list of groups/countries of questionable (no) accountability. No they won't because they are OWNED by those mfg's. Will King or Cantor ever put together committees to deter the easy access to automatic weapons by crazy white militia's within the USA, no, because King and Cantor are also owned by the NRA/Gun lobby. These guys are so divisive – they are loyal to the shadow gov't – not the average citizen, and they use fear tactics to get support of the cerebrally challenged (after all, most of their constituents believe in ghosts).

    March 8, 2011 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  9. Amazing

    Cantor conveniently avoids discussing the stacked deck of testimony that Rep. King will allow. This is policital theater at its worst. It is not focussed on solving a problem but rather creatig the illusion that they are solving a problem.

    March 8, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  10. Tanbiker2

    Jews like Cantor are always perfectly willing to persecute Muslims.

    March 8, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. Beverly - NYC

    Mr. Cantor should be the last person defending Peter King's bigotry. Like all bigots Mr. King needs a mob behind him to prove he isn't alone in his hate. Is Mr. King going to investigate the Tea Party, Skin Heads, & the KKK? Or is it okay to give these groups a pass because they are home grown, wear baseball caps instead of turbins, have American sounding names like Mike, Peter and Jim Bob, not Osama or Hussein. Who Mr. Cantor will be left to speak up for you when your religion is the villian of the day?

    March 8, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  12. snoopsmom

    By the very actions and approval by fellow Republicans of King's hearings, one can see they are feeding the lion. In other words, more radicals will come into being because of these hearings. The hearings are offensive to law abiding people, who love America, of all persuasions. Do I hear Joe McCarthy in the background boosting on this ill-advised Republicans?

    March 8, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  13. Abubrad

    What about JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, all you Republicans promised to make THE priority!!!!

    March 8, 2011 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain

    Cantor should be careful: King and his ilk are into scapegoating and it was not too long ago that they were going after Jews. When King gets tired of persecuting Muslims, guess who'll they'll be coming for?

    March 8, 2011 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  15. they call me "tater salad"

    Cantor couldn't find his own ass with a map and a compass...........He's just another right-wing, talking head, halfwit that brings NOTHING to the table............Typical!

    March 8, 2011 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  16. Ron

    Tea Paw Len Tea is a fraud and puppet of big business. Too bad you poor republicans and "true" T-Party folks drank the coolaid. Next stop: no unions and no voting for college kids!! How you like me now!?

    March 8, 2011 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  17. Gary

    We have men a women putting their lives on the line in the Middle East for their country and these two politicians are serving the causes of our enemies. They might as well be working for radicals in the Middle East. And, they are insulting the Muslim men an women who have died defending this country. King and Cantor obviously do not care they they are weakening our foreign policy and our image around the world. These hearings will be great recruitment tools for Islamic extremist. They are evidence that we are anti-Muslim. King and Cantor have no shame and they dishonor our country.

    March 8, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  18. Patrick from Minnesota

    Congradulations King. Hitler would be very proud.

    March 8, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  19. How Long

    "People are free to react the way they want." In other words, Forget the "people". Typical GOP/TP verbal "Gadhfism" bombing your way to righteouness. WAKE UP! STOP! IT iHow long are we Americans for the people are going to allow this onslaught on the New America to continue? We know what we voted for in 2008 ad it is working for us! Do not be misled. Think about this and I paraphrase Pastor Martin Niemoller a German pastor and theologian born in Lippstadt, Germany, in 1892.

    First they came for the trade Unionists and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist; Then they came for the gays, I didn't speak out because I wasn't gay; Then they came for NPR and PBS I watched and did nothing. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me. How Long?

    Not Long

    March 8, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    Rick McDaniel: The bottom line is......most of the attacks on the US are made by Muslims, both foreign and domestic.

    Cite facts, Bub, including of the percentage of Muslim terrorists compared to the world-wide population of approximately 1.66 billion.

    Also please keep in mind that Christianity has had its share of terrorists: Crusades, Inquisition, KKK, supplanting the Celts in Ireland, all the native peoples in the Americas, etc., etc., etc.

    March 8, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  21. Al

    So when are they going after white Christians for killing it's own citizens?

    March 8, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    - July 2008: A gunman named Jim David Adkisson, agitated at how "liberals" are "destroying America," walks into a Unitarian Church and opens fire, killing two churchgoers and wounding four others.

    - October 2008: Two neo-Nazis are arrested in Tennessee in a plot to murder dozens of African-Americans, culminating in the assassination of President Obama.

    - December 2008: A pair of "Patriot" movement radicals - the father-son team of Bruce and Joshua Turnidge, who wanted "to attack the political infrastructure" - threaten a bank in Woodburn, Oregon, with a bomb in the hopes of extorting money that would end their financial difficulties, for which they blamed the government. Instead, the bomb goes off and kills two police officers. The men eventually are convicted and sentenced to death for the crime.

    - December 2008: In Belfast, Maine, police discover the makings of a nuclear "dirty bomb" in the basement of a white supremacist shot dead by his wife. The man, who was independently wealthy, reportedly was agitated about the election of President Obama and was crafting a plan to set off the bomb.

    - January 2009: A white supremacist named Keith Luke embarks on a killing rampage in Brockton, Mass., raping and wounding a black woman and killing her sister, then killing a homeless man before being captured by police as he is en route to a Jewish community center.

    - February 2009: A Marine named Kody Brittingham is arrested and charged with plotting to assassinate President Obama. Brittingham also collected white-supremacist material.

    - February 2009: A 60-year-old former Republican Party campaign volunteer opens fire on a gathering of Chilena exchange students in an apartment complex in Miramar Beach, Fla., after telling a neighbor he wanted to start a "revolution" against Latino immigrants.

    - April 2009: A white supremacist named Richard Poplawski opens fire on three Pittsburgh police officers who come to his house on a domestic-violence call and kills all three, because he believed President Obama intended to take away the guns of white citizens like himself. Poplawski is currently awaiting trial.

    - April 2009: Another gunman in Okaloosa County, Florida, similarly fearful of Obama's purported gun-grabbing plans, kills two deputies when they come to arrest him in a domestic-violence matter, then is killed himself in a shootout with police.

    - May 2009: A "sovereign citizen" named Scott Roeder walks into a church in Wichita, Kansas, and assassinates abortion provider Dr. George Tiller.

    - June 2009: A Holocaust denier and right-wing tax protester named James Von Brunn opens fire at the Holocaust Museum, killing a security guard.

    - February 2010: An angry tax protester named Joseph Ray Stack flies an airplane into the building housing IRS offices in Austin, Texas. (Media are reluctant to label this one "domestic terrorism" too.)

    - March 2010: Seven militiamen from the Hutaree Militia in Michigan and Ohio are arrested and charged with plotting to assassinate local police officers with the intent of sparking a new civil war.

    - March 2010: An anti-government extremist named John Patrick Bedell walks into the Pentagon and opens fire, wounding two officers before he is himself shot dead.

    - May 2010: A "sovereign citizen" from Georgia is arrested in Tennessee and charged with plotting the violent takeover of a local county courthouse.

    - May 2010: A still-unidentified white man walks into a Jacksonville, Fla., mosque and sets it afire, simultaneously setting off a pipe bomb.

    - May 2010: Two "sovereign citizens" named Jerry and Joe Kane gun down two police officers who pull them over for a traffic violation, and then wound two more officers in a shootout in which both of them are eventually killed.

    - July 2010: An agitated right-winger and convict named Byron Williams loads up on weapons and drives to the Bay Area intent on attacking the offices of the Tides Foundation and the ACLU, but is intercepted by state patrolmen and engages them in a shootout and armed standoff in which two officers and Williams are wounded.

    - September 2010: A Concord, N.C., man is arrested and charged with plotting to blow up a North Carolina abortion clinic. The man, 26-year–old Justin Carl Moose, referred to himself as the "Christian counterpart to (Osama) bin Laden” in a taped undercover meeting with a federal informant.

    - January 2011: A 22-year-old gunman named Jared Lee Loughner with a long grudge against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and a paranoid hatred of the government walks into a public Giffords event and shoots her in the head, then keeps firing, killing six people and wounding 14 more. Gifford miraculously survives.

    - January 2011: A backpack bomb with the potential of killing or injuring dozens of people is found along the route of a Martin Luther King Day “unity march” in downtown Spokane.

    - January 31, 2011: An Army veteran from California with a previous arrest record for making threats against President Bush is arrested for making terrorist outside a mosque in Michigan inside a car whose trunk was filled with Class C explosives.


    March 8, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  23. Sgt Schultz

    Tim McVeigh the Tucson psychopath were radical anti-government extremists. Get off your high horse and stop trying to appease your own radicals that have hijacked the GOP. What a joke GOP. So much for working on jobs.

    March 8, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  24. garysgary

    Well of course. What do you expect him to say...He's a Jew. Some Jews hate Muslims as much as some Muslims hate Jews.

    March 8, 2011 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. rusty155

    You know you Republican party don't need any help getting people too vote against them, the Republican party doing to It self.Right now they got a lot of American people so mad their Is no way they are going too vote for a Republican In 2012.

    March 8, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
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