Eric Cantor has been one of the nation’s leading proponents of repealing Obamacare. His efforts as House Majority Leader were instrumental in bringing repeal attempts to the floor. And he has always contended that Obamacare would be repealed if the Republicans were in control. Now, that seems to be an exaggeration.
Cantor has now admitted he never really believed his own story about how easily Obamacare could be dismantled.
He brought numerous repeal attempts to the floor. He campaigned to defund Obamacare. He even tried to convince Virginia voters that the effort was all-but-certain as soon as the control was handed over.
As MSNBC reports, “the former GOP leader in the House talked to the Washingtonian’s Elaina Plott and conceded that his Republican Party is in a tough spot – parts of the conservative base expect the party to repeal the ACA, because that’s what they were promised – in part because of promises he and his colleagues made that they never intended to keep.”
Plott asked if Cantor felt responsible for the current failures of the repeal. “Oh,” he said, “100 percent.”
“To give the impression that if Republicans were in control of the House and Senate, that we could do that when Obama was still in office…. I never believed it.”
What’s worse is that Cantor now says he’s not the only one who knew it wouldn’t be as easy as they promised. “We sort of all got what was going on, that there was this disconnect in terms of communication, because no one wanted to take the time out in the general public to even think about ‘Wait a minute – that can’t happen.’ ” But, he adds, “if you’ve got that anger working for you, you’re gonna let it be.”
Perhaps this is the most insulting aspect of the charade for the voters who placed their support in Cantor and others. Pandering for votes is hardly new, but this issue is at the core of the platform. It is the what drove millions of voters to put Trump and countless other Republican at the state and local level in office.
Cantor lied. Cantor knowingly lied. The next question is more complex. Up to this point he’s maintained plausible deniability. The repeal didn’t work, but he admitted that he and his colleagues knew it wouldn’t. Why admit the deception? Why admit he lied now?
And that anger that Cantor mentioned…. What happens when that anger turns on him?