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. Anonymous

    For God sakes CNN, we don't care about what Meghan McCain has to say! You would think she is the chair of the RNC the way CNN constantly quotes her online. Give it a rest.

    May 3, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  2. Johnny Neptune

    Time is running out on the GOP, if they don't get their ish together, they'll become a distant memory. The largest voting block of the GOP are baby boomers and they're collecting Social Security, 20 years from now that voting block will be dead and gone.

    Meanwhile, the GOP has a huge image problem when you have the likes of Coulter, Limbaugh, Hannity, and Steele being the face and mouthpiece for the GOP, it's the perfect recipe for political disaster. Republicans have no agenda, their recruitment is at an all time low, and their constant infighting makes me wonder how long they can last.

    May 3, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  3. Mike Dallas

    Having just donned myr "Captain Obvious" cape, I have an observation for the GOP about getting the party back on track via the NCNA.

    Slapping a coat of new paint on the train stations, and hiring a black conductor while a fat, bald drug-addict is still the engineer is NOT the road map to success!

    May 3, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  4. Greg

    The likes of Coulter, Palin, Hannity, Cheney, Limbaugh, Gingrich make the republicans look really bad. There is nothing wrong with being a republican. Powell, McCain and so many other republicans are well respected. I don't think Powell will never be a democrat, but he is respected by all democrats. I believe in the resurrection of the party that must be done without the names listed above. It is time for rebuilding. The party can not rebuild with these people. The party can even rebuild with O'reilly. He is a true republican, a little hateful sometimes, but more social. At least, he had the courage to criticize his own party. He showed that he could sit down with Obama without being disrespectful. He gained a lot more respect after that interview. America needs both parties. Although I support Obama, its unfortunate that he is leading with a majority of democrats in congress. It will get worse if Limbaugh, Coulter, Cheney, Hannity continue to be the voice of the party. Americans are not stupid. The surveys are real. Blaming Obama for everything will make the party weaker. Americans will not support those who want Obama=America to fail. The nation will fail with the failure of Obama. Bush's failure has such a great impact on every American's life. Do the republicans really want the nation to continue to fail? Colin Powell is not Specter. The nation comes before everything. What a great hero? When will we recognize Powell as one of the greatest Americans of the last three decades?

    May 3, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  5. Fla.

    Cantor shows he's a follower, not a leader, with that statement. Actions speak louder than words, and the party of NO new ideas is not going to change the GOP by retreading these same ole people.

    May 3, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  6. chuck

    The Republicans must get rid of people like Cantor,Steele,Limbaugh,McCain,Palin, Pawlenty,McConnell,Rudy Giualini and the biggest culprit Jeb Bush if they want people to listen to them. The Americam people want to hear NOTHING from any of the Bushes period. I wonder who told Jeb Bush that any one is interested in him. By the way Mitt Romney and Bobby Jindal are both Garbage.

    May 3, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  7. Chris

    The country would be best served by breaking the GOP up into several parties, 1)the Christian Conservative party, 2) the Social Conservative Party, and a party that would prefer to distance itself from everything that the Republican party stands for 3)the Intellectual Moderate Party.
    The first step would be for the Republican party to apologize for the last eight years. The Cheney/Bush administration is as close as this country has ever come to a dictatorship.

    May 3, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  8. dude

    i just love reading all of the comments from the liberal democratic yahoos on this board......the republican party needs alot of help these days but advice from the liberal loon party, whose member comments are the only ones to ever make it through the cnn filter queens onto these pages is not what the republicans need............but it is entertaining to read the drivel as the leftist citizens of our country engage in mindless banter amongst themselves on, an integral part of obama's campaign and administration.....keep up the good work losers.......

    May 3, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  9. VinceP1974

    KJ told me

    "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!"

    Actually my comment just shows what a careless typist I am... Guilty as charged.. if i'm in the middle of a few things. then correcting a silly typing mistake is at the bottom of my priority list; however, that you would assume so much about me because of that reveals an appalling bigotry on your part.

    But then that what gives Leftists their charm isn't it?

    May 3, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  10. Margaret

    Republicans are INCAPABLE of changing anything, especially their "message" because they are totally egocentric. They think they are "right" all the time and entitled to lead this country because they claim the moral high ground - where was the moral high ground when bush led this country to a totally unfounded war. I watched Cantor, Romney and Bush this morning and all I could think of was the three stooges. If they want a different message they should start listening to Ms. McCain and put her out there. She is the future of the republican party.

    May 3, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  11. 21% of Americans are TRAITORS for wanting America to FAIL and 79% of Americans to SUFFER!

    President Obama gave the electorate his vision of what he would do to change. We do not want leaders that only malign the government and try to starve it by lowering taxes without actually fixing it, we want someone that will FIX the government so the current tax dollars we spend will be spent efficiently. He is fulfilling his campaign promises made to the majority that voted for him, just as we would expect him to. Repubs call it big government, Dems call it compassion.

    Here are a few poll numbers:

    The majority of Americans are ok with "big government" at this time since, according to Keynesian economics the government is the only entity left standing after private investments and consumer spending have shut down.

    You neo-cons lost by 7% points 53% to 46% that was highest Dem majority since Carter

    Obviously, the majority of Americans do NOT agree with the repub ideology.

    And as to the complaints of "socialism" President Obama is only following a road BUILT by republicans. GWB was President when we bought AIG, Freddie and Fannie and paid the first installment on GM and Chrysler.

    So complain all you want about "tax cuts" and "trickle down" economics, because the only one's listening are the party base.

    May 3, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  12. Tom

    Republicans are absolute retards! Lets talk out of one side of the mouth saying we don't want to be the "party of no" but lets talk out the other side of our mouths and be ready to reject anyone Obama picks for the Supreme Court...just because!

    What is so hard about figuring out your the "party of OLD" and outdated in all of your thinking. Do you really think that the Cheney's, Gingrich's and Pumpkinheaded Limbaugh is the way to open up your party to the youth of this country? Repuiblicans are boring, living in a timewarp and still praising Regan. All I see is my elderly parents everytime one of those monotone Republians stads up and speaks.

    You might want to listen to Megan McCain a little because she is actually right on when it comes to your shortcomings. The good news for Democrats is that they are pretty much assured of complete control for the next 16 years.

    May 3, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  13. James W., Columbia, MO

    Meghan McCain seems to be the face of the new conservative moment – whatever comes out in the wash after the current Republican Party disintegrates. It's too bad she's not ready yet, because even as a liberal I understand the need for a conservative counterbalance. I'd just prefer one that has a sense of the times, and understands that that fiscal conservatives have a future – social conservatives do net.

    Yes, eventually the dust will clear and the new normal will be established, and people will be on the left and right of that new norm, but for now the message is clear "Republicans, take your race-baiting, gay bashing, immigrant hating, knee-jerk religious ideals and stick them where the sun don't shine."

    And yes there are gay Republicans. The Log Cabin Republicans are very real. It is not a typo. This kind of thinking is just a symptom of the Party's problems.

    May 3, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  14. Frank Gerber

    What the GOP really needs to learn is to have a viable message that's palatable to the American people, then worry about communicating it effectively.

    May 3, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  15. flray

    Meghan McCain is correct. Also it does not help when you have a Rush, a Hannity, and a tax dodging, welfare grabbing, unemplyed plumber as spokesmen for their party, mot to mention the hillbilly from Alaska,

    When is the GOP going to learn that their base of WASPs and racist ideologues are for ever gone.

    (take a look at the TEABAGGERS (lol) signs and try to find ONE person of color) One sign from these teabadders claim Obama is a Communist and another said he is a Fascist, duh, it is impossible to both.

    May 3, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  16. Tann in Georgia

    A drowning man will clutch at a straw, a dying Republican will grasp at political botox, a floundering Alaskan governor will paste on another layer of increasingly vivid lipstick...ah, if only swine flew....

    May 3, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  17. Ted Tartaglia

    If Cantor thinks that adopting new technology is going to fix the GOP's problems, he is deluding himself. The Republicans have to adopt a whole new philosophy if they intend to become a national party again. The Party of NO must develop new ideas because the American public no longer accepts their old policies. The American public has also learned that Republican voodoo economics do not work as evidenced by the financial mess we now find ourselves in.

    Republicans have lost their way. They talk conservatism but they went on a spending binge and forgot all about conservatism when they were governing the country. Republican's new found conservatism is the height of hypocrisy. Good luck trying to save your party by imitating Obama's use of technology.

    May 3, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  18. JohnnyG

    Hey "Dude"...

    That sure was a useful, insightful comment. I'm curious, do you agree with my assessment of the challenge that the republican party faces? Or, do you think everything is just fine and dandy for the right these days?

    May 3, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |

    These people are as desperate now as last fall. They will be followed as much now as then too. They are like tombstones that people walk over without knowing it.

    May 3, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  20. T Mckinley

    "We've got a lot to learn from Obama."

    That is the most intelligent thing I have heard from a Republican in a long time.

    May 3, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  21. RUTY

    Listen up republicans. Rush "Windbag"., Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin. Dick Cheney, Ann Coulter, and Newt Gingrich are destroying our party. We have got to stop them. If we can't shut them up then our party is doomed.

    May 3, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  22. Jim

    I think its interesting that the GOP is using technology to rationalize their losses. Claiming Obama's use of technology won the election prevents them from facing the truth: the GOP's recent ideology has driven off the moderates and Bush's execution of that ideology was disastrous.

    May 3, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  23. Pragmatic

    hey dude,

    Are you able to make a coherent point without all the name calling? Didn't think so ... silly adjectives don't make your ideas valid: just make you sound like Rush ...

    All the technology in the world won't make the GOP relevant. They have no new ideas, just old, failed policies of no taxes (let the bridges fall) and small government ( just small enough to fit in your bedroom).

    The current party wants to Purge any intelligent life (old Stalin policy and word) to make the Party more Pure: It is pure " " – but since this is a family paper, I'll let people fill in the blank themselves.

    May 3, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  24. FactCheck

    Obama could be spreading his message on parchment paper and smoke signals and *still* more people would listen to it than what the GOP has to offer. Maybe if you guys had an idea now and then (something other than "drill, baby" drill"), the 79% of the country that are not Republicans may pay attention.

    May 3, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  25. Johnny Neptune


    I agree with you on most of your comments, but I disagree with you on Gingrich, Newt stepped to the plate and called out some of his colleagues, but in typical neo-conservative fashion, his colleagues responded with excuses and finger pointing instead of embracing constructive criticism from one of their own.

    As for Powell, he's definitely one of the most highly respected Republicans in American politics, but least we forget, he was used by his own party (Cheney nor Bush had the credibility to sale the war in Iraq to the world or the american people, Powell was the only one who could have done it) and if his own party screwed him over, they'll screw anyone.

    The GOP has too many factions within their party with their own agendas, and as long as that continues, they'll always look like the party of obstructionists and the party of "I don't have a bleeping clue as to what I'm doing but I'm going to do it anyway because looks and sounds good"

    May 3, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
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