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Cantor “absolutley disagrees” with Steele

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Richmond Congressman Eric Cantor did not mince words when he voiced his disagreement of comments made by Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele about the war in Afghanistan.

Steele is under fire by Republicans and Democrats after he was captured on video criticizing the Obama administration’s handling of the war. Among other things, Steele  called the effort a “war of Obama’s choosing”.  The controversial comments have led to a chorus of calls for the Chairman’s resignation. Everyone from conservative columnist Bill Kristol to Former Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughter, Liz Cheney.

Steele explained his comments in a statement issued by Communications Director Doug Hey.

Rep. Cantor is not among those who believe Steele should step down, but he made it clear the Chairman made a grave error.

“I just absolutely disagree with what Chairman Steele had to say about Afghanistan,” Cantor said.  “This was not war of our choosing.  This was not a war of President Obama’s choosing and it was not a war of the previous President’s choosing.  This war was borne out of the attacks of 9/11.”

Cantor told Don Imus Tuesday morning that Steele should focus on delivering resources to the party’s candidates. He took that point as step further with us, by saying that the party Chairman’s role should be strictly partisan and he has no business wading into policy discussions.

“The RNC is a political body and it has its role and it is not in elected office for the public,” Cantor said.  “It is to serve a partisan function and that is to provide the resources and support for our candidates.”

You can see an extended clip on Cantor’s thoughts on Steele below:

Steele’s work with the RNC is important to Cantor, because the local Congressman has a vested interest in the GOP effort to win Congressional seats. An effort that Politico argued last week, was a bit more than altruistic. The website cites sources within Republican ranks that claim the Richmonder is angling to take over power in the House of Representatives if the GOP wins a majority.

In order to do that, Cantor would have to find a way to sidestep the current Minority Leader John Boehner who is in position to become Speaker if the Republicans pick up the seats they need.  Cantor said there is no truth to the rumors.

“I think this is idle gossip, it’s the kind you see reported in high school newspapers,”  he said  “Unfortunately the way the world is sometimes in Washington.”

An extended clip from Cantor’s comments on the topic can be found below:

Written by Ryan Nobles

July 6, 2010 at 7:23 pm

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