Cantor: Voters more concerned about problem solving than pledge
November 26th, 2012
12:05 PM ET
1 year ago

Cantor: Voters more concerned about problem solving than pledge

(CNN) - House Majority Leader Eric Cantor became another Republican on Capitol Hill to suggest he is willing to put aside the Grover Norquist-backed pledge he signed not to raise taxes when considering options to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.

Cantor said in interviews Monday that his Virginia constituents did not re-elect him earlier this month to a seventh term because he had signed the pledge not to increase tax rates advanced by Norquist's group Americans for Tax Reform.

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"I will tell you when I go to the constituents that have elected, re-elected me it is not about that pledge. It is really about trying to solve problems," he said in an interview on MSNBC. "We were not re-elected to raise taxes or increase marginal rates. We were re-elected to fix the problems, to get the economy going again and to fix the deficit."

Several Republicans, including Senators Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, have in the past week sought distance from the pledge, which has been signed by a majority of Republican lawmakers in Washington.

Led by House Speaker John Boehner, Republicans have put increased revenue on the table in negotiations to avert going over the fiscal cliff, which is a combination of federal budget spending cuts and tax increases for nearly all Americans that are set to go into effect in the new year. Congressional leaders and President Barack Obama are working to find a solution as economists predict going over the cliff would put the U.S. economy back into recession.

Boehner, Cantor, and others have said they are open to increasing revenue through capping or reduction of credits and other loopholes, but are opposed to raising rates. "Increasing marginal rates versus more revenues is the distinction there," Cantor said.

Obama favors increasing rates for wealthy earners and has said he agrees with Republicans on extending the tax cuts passed under former President George W. Bush for middle-income earners.

Republicans have advanced savings through reforms to entitlement programs, such as Social Security and Medicare.

"We fix the problem by number one getting a handle on these entitlements," Cantor said.

In a separate interview, he advocated for putting Obama's health reform law on the negotiating table, but could not say whether it had come up in discussions between congressional leaders and the White House.

"If the president is serious about joining us and fixing the problem, he ought to be putting Obamacare on the table," Cantor said on the Fox News Channel. "There's no question in my mind that's the largest expansion of government programs."

Boehner wrote in an op-ed published Wednesday "that the law has to stay on the table as both parties discuss ways to solve our nation's massive debt challenge."

A CNN/ORC International poll released Monday indicates two-thirds of people questioned believe the U.S. would face a crisis if the cliff is not averted, and more say they would blame the consequences on Republicans in Congress rather than President Barack Obama.

Also on the CNN Political Ticker

– Graham says he'd break no-tax 'pledge'

– Cantor: Voters more concerned about problem solving than pledge

– Christie gets post-Sandy approval rating bump

– Norquist says he'll go after pledge-breakers

– Rep. Capito to run for Senate in West Virginia


Filed under: Eric Cantor • Fiscal Cliff
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. David from Nor Cal

    Memo to the GOP on Obamacare. It's done. Its over. You lost. Move on.

    November 26, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. ja

    the pledge type is why the gop lost the presidency, you craft bs pledges, that cater to the super rich, this grover person need pull his head out of the sand or drown in it, you wear cross ansd flag lapels well you represent neither

    November 26, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. Larry in Houston

    LOL – the democrats should hold Boehner – and call the Bluff – when January gets here ( and goes )and not much really happens , on this "fiscal cliff " thing, you better believe when the mid-terms come around, Obama will end up doing what he wants. In other words, he will have a Majority again. LOL -

    November 26, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Norquist has been the "DEFACTO" leader of the Republican party all these years, so your vote really didn't count. So does this mean the GOP has replaced him with a "New Defacto Leader" or are they now willing to compromise and work with the President, that's yet to see.

    November 26, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. Jim Hahn

    Let the feast begin. Love it when the Republicans start eating their own.

    November 26, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. Sally

    Actually, Mr. Candor...
    The American people want compromise and leadership. I saw you on Morning Joe today talking about death taxes and job creators (terms ALL made up by far right strategist. We want individuals making over 250 thousand a year to pay more income taxes, we want their capital gains taxed at atleast 40%. That will stop people like you and Romney being able to pay 14% on your income because you have your money tied up in stocks that earn dividends (which you pay 15% on) and we want people like you not to make millions in insider trading schemes while they are in congress. Were you a multimillionaire when you entered congress? That is what we want. I believe most Americans would yield to raising medicare to age 67 and gladly see a cut in the over-bloated military budget ( not cuts to our troops and veterans, but on unnecessary toys and total waste) if we see millionaires like Paul Ryan, Romney and you pay your fair share.

    November 26, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. Fair is Fair

    Rudy asked:

    "Tsk, tsk, tsk. If they were such experts, then why is it headed for bankruptcy? Hmm? "
    -------
    Several reasons, Rudy... none of which has anything to do with the private administration of claims pocessing.

    They're going bankrupt because:

    1. Actuarial practices fom the 1960's
    2. An aging population (average age 82 versus 70 when Medicare was started in 1965)
    3. Complete lack of utilization management
    4. Expensive modern medical practices

    and the list could go on and on and on. Any economist – ANY economist – will tell you the biggest financial disaster facing us is Medicare and Medicaid.

    But nice cherry-picking of my comment to fit your narrative.

    November 26, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  8. Larry in Houston

    I hope one of the "Judd" gals runs against this guy. or maybe one of them is planning on running against 'ol Mitch in Ky.

    November 26, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  9. chilly g

    if the gop leadership decide to say no to the president, then the taxes will go up on everybody including the super rich
    so the gop is just being stupid. this is on battle the gop will no win, the winner will be the american people.

    November 26, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    -Ray E. (Georgia)

    I'm not sure people are wanting to fix the problem. If so they elected the wrong person for president. But, they voted for it so let's see how it goes. It hasen't gone too well the last 75 years. I predict the country will still be floundering 4 years from now, even worse.
    ****************************************
    Still trying to spin out that cotton candy piece of BS, eh Ray? Fact: the GOP has dominated the Presidency throughout the later half of the 20th century through the present day. They have also controlled at least 1 chamber of Congress throughout most of the last 30 years, and held control of both for 12 out of the last 16 years. Keep believing the fairy tale that conservatives have had no say in the last 75 years if you want, but don't waste your time spreading revisionist garbage because you refuse to accept that your viewpoint has been resoundingly rejected ( again) by the voters. By the way, when is your home state going to pay back all the money blue states have been sending to subsidize your so-called lifestyle?

    November 26, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "Christie gets post-Sandy approval rating bump"

    He did the right thing in a major emergency situation. Let's see if he can stop doing the wrong thing in all other situations.

    November 26, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  12. Boo

    Cantor is blaming Obamacare???!!! He's another clueless money grubbing freak who can't see the forest for the trees. Here's hoping the Republicans go the way of the dinosaurs.....EXTINCTION.

    November 26, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    -Fair is Fair

    Rudy asked:

    "Tsk, tsk, tsk. If they were such experts, then why is it headed for bankruptcy? Hmm? "
    ---
    Several reasons, Rudy... none of which has anything to do with the private administration of claims pocessing.

    They're going bankrupt because:

    1. Actuarial practices fom the 1960's
    2. An aging population (average age 82 versus 70 when Medicare was started in 1965)
    3. Complete lack of utilization management
    4. Expensive modern medical practices

    and the list could go on and on and on. Any economist – ANY economist – will tell you the biggest financial disaster facing us is Medicare and Medicaid.

    But nice cherry-picking of my comment to fit your narrative.
    **************************************************
    Yes, I remember your cherry-picking of Romney's record for over 2 years, but that never stopped you from your carefully constructed narrative of business perfection that you wanted to project. Please, the adminstrative costs do affect things, or are you implying that they don't matter in your world?

    November 26, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  14. Lisa

    These people were elected to work with the President to solve problems for the American people and America. They are suppose to work together to solve problems not create them. Why can't they do their jobs???? If they do not want to work together for the greater good they should work elsewhere. We are all in this together. They need to remember who hired them.

    November 26, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  15. ferret out the BS

    It's scary that the majority of these GOP clowns still haven't gotten the message to compromise and do what's best for the country as a whole instead of catering to special interests. To paraphrase, the new representative from Maine said in an interview that by not compromising he would have 100% of the knowledge and information needed to fix this mess. Since he doesn't have all that knowledge compromise and listening to the other ideas from the other representatives is imperative.

    November 26, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  16. Good news bad news

    The good news is that Cantor & other GOPs are realizing that nobody cares about Norquist except DC insiders and that they are free to come up with a sensible compromise. Increasing Medicare age is a sensible compromise; eliminating Obamacare with nothing to replace it is preposterous.

    November 26, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  17. @sara100658

    Any republican that holds back from a compromise to help our country because of a pledge from Norquist. Better be more worried about being elected by the people than little GROVER! We have already shown big money can be beaten by the people! Look who is in the WH for the next 4 years!!!

    November 26, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  18. zipurlip

    Grover is about to become groveler.

    November 26, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  19. Fair is Fair

    The Real Tom Paine

    "Please, the adminstrative costs do affect things, or are you implying that they don't matter in your world?"
    --------–
    Of course administrative costs affect things. The left touts Medicare and Medicaid as having below average administrative costs. Agreed! And it's no coincidence that the administrative aspects of the program are contracted to private business.

    November 26, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  20. Dennis Freeman

    Where have been Representative, and where would you be had Obama not won? Phony...

    November 26, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  21. Farrok

    America is more important than Grover and he thinks he is bigger than the institution of Government.

    November 26, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  22. Georgia Girl

    Do ya'll notice on all these stories about republicans, there pictures have their mouths open. Lindsay Graham, Grover, Cantor, Christie. CNN are you trying to tell us something? Like they are full of hot air and needs to constantly blow it out of their mouths instead of their noses? Just sayin!

    November 26, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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