A couple of weeks ago, the Associated Press ran an article on efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform and who proponents blame for Congress’ failure to act.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is “the No. 1 guy standing between the American people and immigration reform,” Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, a pro-immigrant group, said in the piece.
At the time, Cantor’s office was dismissive of the article, openly mocking it. Even in the AP piece itself, one of the Majority Leader’s top aides, Doug Heye, emphasized Cantor’s willingness to work on some areas of immigration policy, adding, “Eric Cantor’s position on immigration remains consistent.”
As Sabrina Siddiqui discovered, Cantor’s “consistency” is very much in doubt.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has, in recent weeks, highlighted his efforts to block comprehensive immigration reform as he looks to fend off a June 10 primary election challenge. But on Monday, a new mailer touting his tough stance on immigration cited a report that at least one of Cantor’s staffers on Capitol Hill has disputed.The mailer plays up Cantor’s role in blocking the passage of the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform bill, which his campaign refers to as the “Obama-Reid plan to give illegal aliens amnesty.” As evidence, it cites an Associated Press article last month about immigration activists “increasingly focusing their ire at one person: Eric Cantor, the House majority leader.”
Doing its best Gollum impression, Team Cantor loves immigration reform and hates immigration reform. The Majority Leader and his aides love articles that position him as reform’s leading foe and hate the same articles.
This is the second mailing Cantor’s campaign has sent to constituents recently, with the last one also boasting about the congressman’s role in shutting down a plan to give “amnesty” to “illegal aliens” – even as House Republicans occasionally keep up the pretense that the demise of the bipartisan reform plan is President Obama’s fault.
Indeed, that’s not all Cantor is telling Virginia voters.
One mailing has photos of Clinton and Obama, saying the Virginia Republican is “fighting for the truth about Benghazi.” […]For example, one piece brands “our Congressman Eric Cantor” as the person “leading the fight against President Obama’s liberal agenda.” Another says that “conservative Republican Eric Cantor is stopping the Obama Reid plan to give illegal aliens amnesty.”Cantor also highlights congressional investigations in his mailings. In one piece, Cantor is pictured with his arms crossed in shirtsleeves with “standing up to the IRS” emblazoned on the literature. In another, Cantor mentions that he called for a “special prosecutor in IRS targeting investigation.”
All of this is apparently Cantor’s way of preparing for his primary fight, which is a week from today.
It’s still very hard to believe Cantor is in real danger of losing to David Brat, a conservative economist at Randolph-Macon College, who lacks the resources to seriously compete with the well-funded incumbent.
But Cantor is worried enough to let his far-right base know, over and over again, that he’s one of them.