Cantor strikes conciliatory tone before Obama jobs speech
September 7th, 2011
08:55 PM ET
11 years ago

Cantor strikes conciliatory tone before Obama jobs speech

Washington (CNN) - Striking a conciliatory tone the day before President Obama comes to Capitol Hill to reveal his jobs plan, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor left the door open to working with him on some of the proposals he's expected to present in his address to a joint session of Congress Thursday evening.

Cantor said discussions with voters over the summer recess made it clear they are anxious about the economy, and he added Americans "have lost a lot of confidence in Washington and while they are going through such tough times they're frankly sick of the rancor in this town."

The number two House Republican noted the GOP continues to have a major difference of opinion with the president on the best way to create jobs, citing his party’s opposition to the president’s 2009 stimulus.

But moving forward Cantor stressed, "We've got to focus on areas of commonality, try and transcend differences here. I think we need to build consensus and that's going to require us all not to impugn motives or to question patriotism."

Three areas in which Cantor indicated the GOP may be able to find some common ground include some infrastructure spending, assistance for jobless Americans, and trade.

But while the president is expected to call for more federal spending for infrastructure projects and the unemployed, Cantor maintained that there needed to be more flexibility for states on how they spend money they already receive, and an effort to reform federal programs to support the unemployed with a focus on getting people back to work.

Cantor also encouraged the White House to move the three pending trade deals with Colombia, Panama, and Korea quickly to the Hill, saying reports show passage of the trade deals could "see the creation of hundreds of thousands of additional jobs."

House Speaker John Boehner declined to answer questions from reporters Wednesday about the details emerging on the jobs package the president plans to unveil Thursday. But Boehner’s spokesman was careful to reserve judgment, telling reporters the speaker “will wait and listen to the President’s speech and we will consider those ideas along with other alternatives that have been discussed and debated in Congress.”

Cantor reiterated that House Republicans will move forward with their own agenda to facilitate growth in the short term - rolling back regulations that they believe are anti-business and providing small businesses a tax cut to encourage them to hire more new workers.

Shortly after the president lays out his plan Thursday, the contrast between the president’s approach and that of House Republicans will be on display not far from Washington. President Obama is scheduled to hold a jobs event in Cantor’s backyard of Richmond, Virginia, on Friday. Cantor announced Wednesday he’ll hold his own economic event the same day in his district.

Filed under: Eric Cantor • Jobs • John Boehner • President Obama
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. ObamaCares

    It's 2 bad Cantor doesn't realize that he and his imps are to blame for the lack of jobs. They ran on creating jobs and now they don't want to own up to their failures. Kick their behind, Mr. Obama.

    September 7, 2011 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  2. bawana

    this prick needs to go away

    September 7, 2011 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  3. Grand Oil Party

    Wow, never really thought about it before but I bet Cantor gives great lip service.

    September 7, 2011 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  4. proudmemberofglobalzero

    He must have gotten the message I left with his aide. His aide is very nice by the way. I am going to be 53 on 9/11. I have NEVER had hate and anger in my heart before this congress took over. I have had heavy sorrow...just look at my birthday date. I do not like the way this feels one bit. I also told him he does not represent my faith.


    September 7, 2011 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  5. dan

    So now conciliation is the name of the game? And, of course, as long as it's on their own terms. What we need is compromise, the bedrock foundation of our American government, not partisan politics. It's quite strange that this party which provided such grand support of stimulus in years long gone now find it abhorrent on any terms. What does the GOP really believe these days? Do they hold any consistent values, or are they blowing in the wind depending upon which wind is strongest? I wonder of Ronald Reagan would be acceptable to them today? Or, are they more like Herbert Hover and Calvin Coolidge? It makes you wonder about the curse of repeating history if you don't know it. Perhaps Jefferson's partisanship is their model. He's the person, along with Madison, for forming the initial opposition against Washington. I guess that the more American politics changes, the more it stays the same. Who would have thought so!

    September 7, 2011 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  6. w l jones

    We need a stimulus plan for a whole continent for our future businessmen to buy and sell our good far into the future. Within ten years most employer will have hard time finding people fill there slot. Never under -estimate our business person when put to the task. Bless.

    September 7, 2011 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  7. Randy, San Francisco

    Cooperate with President Obama? How can Cantor explain this one to his Tea Party Hobbit supporters?

    September 7, 2011 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  8. Tired of the Nonsense

    We lost confidence in Washington years ago.

    Obama restored some of the confidence that Bush destroyed.

    September 7, 2011 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  9. DJ Jahn

    Over the years both parties have been more than willing to borrow and spend to get their party and themselves into office. They pass bills which allow the big corporations and the wealthy to keep big chunks of money. Create entitlement programs that will give out smaller amounts of money to others. Perfect! They get reelected which gives them some really good gravy. Let me tell you. Just because they run for office doesn’t mean they know how to do the job. Heck they have been proving for years that they can’t. But as long as they could borrow the money everyone was happy. Uh Oh! The pocket is empty, now what do we do? Well we sure can’t work together so it’s come down this. There only room in this town for one sheriff. We have to do the only job we are good at and that’s to make sure the sheriff is not reelected. The one party wants in, the other party wants to stay in and they are both willing to let the town burn down if they have to.

    September 7, 2011 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  10. Squigman

    An accomodating tone from the republican (wannabe speaker), and why? Could it be that several of the right wing agitators have been pulled to the carpet. It wasn't long ago they participated in a tempest in a teapot charade concerning the debt ceiling, and the voters got a little sick of it.? Naw, that couldn't be it. After all, they are to be trusted. They're republicans.

    September 7, 2011 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  11. azmary

    Wow! It almost sounds like Rep. Cantor actualy may have listened to some of the people he is supposed to represent in his home district. Wonder how long the "hey let's look for some common ground" will last.

    September 7, 2011 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  12. bullhorn

    NO..they're sick of the CANTOR in this town.

    September 7, 2011 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  13. Luke Brown

    These guys are just waiting to stab Obama in the back. They hate him and will do everything they can to destroy his leadership. Get real. They are only being "conciliatory" because their pollsters are telling them that Independent voters are disgusted with their tactics.

    September 7, 2011 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  14. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    If he really wanted to help the country move along, then he needs to understand that he and the GOP can't have only their ideas be the ones to go forward. They need to understand that you need to spend money to make it. Deficit spending is needed for right now since no one is spending. Once the economy is going, then we can reduce spending. This means that tax cuts need to go away for everyone. I don't like paying taxes, but it needs to be done to cut the debt now.

    September 7, 2011 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  15. BeverlyNC

    Cantor cannot be trusted. He has been in deep political trouble for his obstructionism and for recently being against FEMA help for people who just went through major disasters. Cantor is against everything that President Obama says, does, or wants for the PEOPLE. Cantor wants to kill SS, Medicare, and every public service agency that protects the food we eat, the medicines we need, and the air we breathe. I hope his consitutents in VA wake up and realize he does not work for them but that he works for CORPORATIONS who pay no taxes, get special loopholes, make record profits and hire NO ONE, and abuse the workers they do have. Our nation is supposed to be for the PEOPLE not for a CORPORATE DICTATORSHIP that stomps on the PEOPLE for reasons of greed.
    No Cantor in 2012. No Republican in ANY local, state, or national seat. We need to remove the giant obstructionists so the real LEADERS can get something done to help PEOPLE. We need the PEOPLE"S PARTY – the Democrats able to pass the solutions they have had ready to go.

    September 7, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  16. John

    You Republican can't work with anybody. With you Republican and Tea Party It party first and the hell with the rest of us. You will not compromise with anybody, and all you can say Is NO. You people In congress are way over pay, and you for got who you work for a long time ago.

    September 7, 2011 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  17. Gigi

    Is Eric sick? I am speechless!

    September 7, 2011 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  18. miradd

    I do not expect the party of NO to agree to ANYTHING Obama suggest. So now he wants to see the trade pacts with these foreign governments to determine which big corporation he can help to get their foot in the door first, and take our jobs overseas....

    September 7, 2011 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  19. thomas

    Eric Cantor is the GirlyBoy Obstructionist and mouth of the TeaPeople ! !

    September 7, 2011 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  20. Grow up already...

    Beware of Cantor the snake in the grass....

    September 7, 2011 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  21. toocy

    Of course the trade deals could "see the creation of hundreds of thousands of additional jobs" Colombia, Panama and Korea.

    September 7, 2011 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  22. Tim

    A hint of leadership!!

    September 7, 2011 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  23. SecedingfromTexas

    ".....sick of the rancor..." Did he report this to his masters, the Koch Bros? "Conciliatory" my eye. More like "the trap
    is set", come on in Mr. President, let me pour you some tea.

    September 7, 2011 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  24. Grow up already...

    Don't infrastructure improvements in VA have to be offset by spending cuts elsewhere in VA?

    September 7, 2011 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  25. Suporter of president Obama.

    Finally Mr,. Cantor must have gotten an ear full and learned an important lesson that it wise to work for a common goal instead of bickering all the times and to see who will be standing in the end. The American people have had it when our government is not working and in turn blame the president who is trying his best but runs into a road block when our Republican friends knowing we need jobs are firmly footed in blaming the president. So I give Mr. Cantor some credit for talking consolatory. If this is a way to make him a one time president it's not ethically correct. So i hope cool heads will prevail and put people back to work.

    September 7, 2011 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
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