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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. RO

    Obama has one thing that the previous President didn't have.. patience and the willingness to listen to both sides of aisles.. That is the common theme heard all across the world. This is exactly the reason other countries are willing to work with Obama for he is willing to listen.

    May 3, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  2. Sean the thinker

    As a loyal Democrat, I hope the Republican party disavow Cantor's comments and remain exactly like they are and keep upholding a steadfast comittment to their beliefs.

    May 3, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  3. Phil Muse

    I couldn't agree more with what Eric Centor says about "Breaking free from obsolete positions and providing real solutions that don't divide our nation." Unfortunately, he doesn't understand the glacial inertia in his own party. As a Jew in a right-wing WASP party, Cantor may live to make the sad discovery that the Republicans know how to use a minority figure when it suits their purpose and discard him when his usefulness has ended. Just ask Colin Powell.

    May 3, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  4. Seattle Sue

    I think the GOP's actions will have to be the path to change, their words have contained a lot of lies in the past. I'm sorry to say this but I have quit believing Republicans tears ago.

    May 3, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  5. ib

    If you want to see how th goverment does running everything including your personel lives then watch and learn from Obama. This is the only thing I've seen from him so far; he wants the goverment to run everything; do everything. NO THANK YOU Obama.

    May 3, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  6. Saul- Virginia

    The day that Romney, Cantor and Jeb Have the balls to Put Rush Limbaugh, Shaun, Laura and Coulter will be a great turning point for the republican party. I, with a lot of my friends refuse to be affiliated with such haters that currently run the party. All this talk is just political staging. Non of these clowns will say a word to counter the nonsense Rush etal say about wanting the president to fail and so fort.

    So get back in your holes until you have the guts to fight the actual diseases in the republican party.

    May 3, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  7. Adam

    Perhaps if Mr. Cantor is concerned about learning he should respond to the requests of his constituents. Mr. Cantor's office failed to meet with his constituents from Virginia concerning the topic of HIV. I guess he was too busy brushing up on Mr. Obama to realize that if you want to be more like the President, act like it, dont just talk!

    May 3, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  8. delong

    Republicans can use all the tricks, excuses and gadgets they want, but unless and until they rid themselves of Extreme Right Wing Nutjobs like Michelle Bachman, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin, you will continue to lose favor with the average American.

    Also if you continue to support the Coproratists and Corporations over the people and the people's interests, you lose. American is done with that. We are tired of Corporations running our lives, our news and our country.

    We are looking for solutions. You are only looking for problems.

    Big Government vs Big Corporations??? Give me Big Government, (to control the big Corporations) any day. At least I can vote them out!!!

    By the way Americans..................WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT!!

    Quit falling for that old Republican Rant "Government is Bad". They only want to take away our power.

    May 3, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  9. Craig

    How about actually working for your constituents? There's a concept for ya.

    They still... STILL don't get it.

    May 3, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  10. Greg

    The republican party is making a serious mistake now by going so aggressively after Obama who has been in power for only 105 days. The party is in denial. Several surveys show that a large majority of Americans believe he is on the right track. These are the people who voted for him. The republicans have to listen to these people by convincing them with better solutions instead of telling them why Obama is always wrong. The republicans had 8 years to mess everything up, how can they be so smart now to convince the nation that Obama has no vision, no intention, no ability to lead the nation. Come on folks. Try to connect better with the nation. Bush seems to be very smart by staying quiet for now. He knows that he failed. Did he have good intention? of course, he did. Cheney, Limbaugh, Hannity need to follow BUSH's example. Please shut up. Talk until your voice can be heard. Now is not the time for NO, NO, NO.Be smart! Try to organize the party. Join Obama in rebuilding the nation. Show your positive intentions. Reconnect with the nation. Recognize the past mistakes. If you can do that, people will start listening again. THey will trust you. You will not be the party of NO, but a party in the opposition. You can still oppose Obama without being hateful and selfish. Stop denying the truth. You are not trusted. Regain your trust first.

    May 3, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  11. Simple Truth

    What the Republican party plans to do is once again create a phony illusion or perception for the purpose of conning voters into actually voting against their own interests.
    The Republican party believes that government exists only for the benefit of corporations and executives and that all other branches of government should be eliminated. They believe corporations should not pay taxes and not be regulated in any way. The Republican party in all truthfulness is just an extension of big business, much like the chamber of commerce. They care nothing about ordinary Americans and feel that their jobs should be outsourced or replaced by an illegal immigrant. Learn to compete in the global economy they say.
    Its time for Americans to drive a stake in the heart of the multinational corporate governed Republican party and send a message to other political parties that you better focus on representing the will of the people and not some worthless, greedy, unethical and short sighted multinational corporate agenda.

    May 3, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  12. Sarah

    Young voters should be deeply offended at this. As if technology is all they care about and as if by copying Obama the Republicans can court young voters. All the GOP needs to do is look in the mirror and into their heartless hearts.

    May 3, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  13. Machiavelli, Baton Rouge, LA

    I agree with Miss McCain; fhroughout modern times, the GOP has been the party of the angry white male as they ostracize all of the minority groups. It does not matter if they embrace technology if the people do not want to hear their message. What is happening to them is a matter of the "chickens coming home to roost" because many of the good ol' boys have abandoned the GOP philosophy. Even they realize the GOP message and agenda is outmoded, stale, and not inclusive.

    They must really return to being the party of Lincoln if they want to regain power; they allowed the Democratic Party to wrest this mantle away from them during the Civil Rights era, while the GOP became the party of white males only.

    Futhermore, the people are tired of GOP politicians taking their cues and talking points from radio commentators and far right-wing fanatics who only want to make money at the expense of their party. That kind of talk has gone the way of the dinosaur in the 21st century.

    May 3, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  14. Dan, TX

    Look, the GOP only needs to return to their true principles, exemplified by Colin Powell, Brent Scowcroft, Dick Lugar, etc. That is, calm, pragmatic, and reasonable. Right now, the GOP is conveying fear and panic. Calling Obama a socialist? That is immature. Who wants to vote for a party whose leading voices are screaming wild-eyed that the sky is falling?

    The GOP will be back in power as soon as they calm down and stop shouting. That's the lesson the GOP needs to learn from Obama – maturity.

    May 3, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  15. Lynn

    "technology of today" will not connect to young is what you say that is important...and thus far the Republicans fail to understand the diversity that young people accept and the prejudices of their parents and grandparents had in the 20th century. It is not HOW you communicate but what it is you are trying to communicate.

    The best example would be in the generational view of developing renewed relations with Cuba among Cuban Americans in Florida.

    What the Republicans constantly overlook both in the results of the election and in the present polls is that President Obama has incredible leadership skills, his temperment and intelligence and actually lives his family values.

    May 3, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  16. KJ

    VinceP1974 -

    Your comments show just how uneducated you are. "Wallah"? What the heck does that mean... wallah? Oh wait I get it... you mean "voila"... but wait... isn't that a FRENCH word? OMG better wash your mouth out!

    May 3, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  17. Darin

    Being Jewish, I feel Eric Cantor is an embarrassment to all Jews, he insults our striving for educational excellence and success. Basically he is an idiot, right up there with all those fascists like Boehner.
    The time of the GOP is over and it is time for Americans to vote for candidates that care about their real interests not big business.

    May 3, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  18. joe

    Republicans may just be on the verge of being perceived by the rest of the world as America's version of radical fundamentalists. More exlusive than inclusive, more autocratic than open, more saber-rattlers than diplomatic, more naysaying than....Well, you get the point. And I didn't even get to right wing Christian fundamentalism yet.

    May 3, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  19. Chenna Benna

    It's a shame that a 24 yr old understands that embracing technology isn't going to solve the GOPs problems. The GOP needs to understand that they can believe in their general philosophy if the wish, but that philosophy may not work in every situation. We are in the middle of an economic crisis in which spending is virtually non existent among consumers and businesses. The GOP has be talking about freezing spending, continuing tax cuts that really helps no one but the wealthy, and they have had no new ideas to help combat the difficulties we are now faced with as a nation. The president extended his hand to them early on, even including some of their ideas into the stimulus bill. They decided to not work with him and haven't produce any new alternatives. When you produce nothing and support nothing they you become nothing.

    May 3, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  20. diego

    you can put lipstick on a pig...but in the end it's still a pig..!!!

    May 3, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  21. Lynn

    CNN forgot to mention, as posted on Fox, just over FIFTY people turned out to their revival meeting...hardly a movement yet!!

    May 3, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  22. Lee in Ohio

    Meghan knows what she's talking about. Wonder if any of the GOPs "boys" are listening to her? Nah, they think it's all just about PR and "communication."

    May 3, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  23. Lori

    Just saw the program. Romney and Cantor are in deep DENIAL. Firstly, yes, the GOP candidate lost by a large margin this last election and it was not only because of the economy. Secondly, voters didn't just vote for Obama because of the economy-women, hispanics, pro-choicers, suburbanites, etc. voted because of his message. Time to move into this century! Stop stuffing your morals down the throats of all Americans and STOP THE NEGATIVITY towards our President and then maybe we can talk. Note to Cantor and Romney: Yes, it is the message and the messenger!

    P.S. Could some tell Amy Holmes that President Obama's approval ratings match George W's b/c the Democrats gave Bush the benefit of the doubt in 2001, the Republicans are not giving Obama a chance. Hence the alleged equal ratings. Dems and Independents overwhelmingly support our President. Obama will leave in 8 years with approval ratings nothing near Bush's.

    May 3, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  24. John in Tampa

    Newsflash: the media is not the message. Barak Obama is President because in real time–at all times– he oozes intelligence, composure, compassion, and genuinely good purpose.

    John McCain is not President, because in real time he could not differentiate the terms, Sunni, Shia, Irani and Al Quida, and he said Iraq borders Afghanistan when it does not; because he publicly freaked out about economic solutions he absolutely and admittedly does not understand; because he doesn't know how many houses he owns; and because he gambled America's future by putting forth a candidate for Vice President who stood up there and spoke of 'Real Americans' as though some of us were not. I took that personally, and it seems I wasn't alone.

    The cameras will roll and they cannot lie. When Republicans show intelligence, composure, compassion, and genuinely good purpose, I for one will welcome the uplifting of the American debate. I'm listening.

    May 3, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  25. Minnesotan

    Republicans: Americans aren't against your 'image.' We're against your failed policies, your economic disasters, your false wars, your rampant corruption, your constant lying and your continuing hypocritical statements. It'll be a beautiful day when your party is extinct.

    May 3, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
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