House Majority Leader Eric Cantor pleaded for GOP unity and laid out his case for a successful Republican strategy on Saturday.
“Winning elections is about convincing the voters that the we have their back, that we’re on their side,” he told a group of Virginia Republican activists.
Republican leadership has been on an offensive in recent weeks, taking on its party’s most extreme voices and promising a smarter, more successful GOP machine in 2014 and 2016.
“If we want to win, we must offer solutions to problems that people face every day,” he said at a lunch event with 500 activists. “We have not done this recently and it has allowed Democrats to take power, it has allowed them to push their partisan politics, and even worse to enact their leftist agenda.”
He also stressed unity and combatting Democrats, not Republicans.
“When our party is not united, and when we fail to offer a plan that connects with people and the problems that they’re having, we lose at the ballot box,” he said. “And, when we lose at the ballot box, we get policies like Obamacare.”
Cantor promised Republicans that they don’t have to abandon conservative values to be compassionate and successful.
“If we take our conservative principles and bring them directly to the kitchen table, if we speak directly to the people and explain why our conservative solutions work and why liberal ideas are set up to fail, there is no beating our Republican Party,” Cantor said.
From his leadership role in the upper chamber, Sen. Mitch McConnell’s been on a crusade against conservative groups that attack members of the party.
“It’s time for people to stand up to this sort of thing,” he said of Republican powers that forced a shutdown in October.
“The Senate Conservatives Fund is giving conservatism a bad name. They’re participating in ruining the [Republican] brand,” McConnell told the Washington Examiner recently. “What they do is mislead their donors into believing the reason that we can’t get as good an outcome as we’d like to get is not because of a Democratic Senate and a Democratic president, but because Republicans are insufficiently committed to the cause—which is utter nonsense.”