Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) asserted on Sunday that Congress had not passed comprehensive immigration reform because its “largest opponent” was President Barack Obama.
In an interview on Fox News, Price defended Republicans who were insisting that the party replace House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) with someone who opposed immigration reform after he lost his primary last week.
Fox News host Chris Wallace reminded Price that former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney had lost to Obama by 44 points among Hispanic voters in 2012.
"Don’t you have to do something to appeal more?" Wallace wondered. "And immigration is certainly one of the things that Hispanics care about. Don’t you have to do something if you’re going to avoid getting in real trouble at the ballot box in 2014, and especially 2016?"
Price agreed that the immigration system was broken, but argued “that it is the president that is the largest opponent to immigration reform.”
"It was Mitt Romney who lost among Hispanics, sir," Wallace noted.
"That doesn’t negate the fact that President Obama in 2011 who said the border is secure," Price insisted. "The president was being deceitful with the American people on this."
"What did he do this weekend to correct that?" the Georgia Republican continued. "He went and gave a hyper-partisan commencement speech, and then went and played golf. That’s the frustration that my constituents have. This is a president who is disengaged on solving this challenge of immigration."
BREAKING: Eric Cantor to Step Down as Majority Leader, Will Not Be Entering 2014 Campaign Again As A Write-In
WASHINGTON — Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the No. 2 House Republican, will resign his leadership position within weeks, according to leadership aides. The move follows a stunning defeat in a primary election Tuesday in which voters rejected him in favor of a more conservative candidate.
The move culminated a precipitous fall for Mr. Cantor, who was thought to be a likely successor to Speaker John A. Boehner.
By stepping down as majority leader, an aide to Mr. Cantor said, he hoped to limit a festering struggle within the House Republican caucus over who would assume his post.
Mr. Cantor attended a meeting with other members of the leadership Wednesday morning in advance of a larger meeting of Republican members set for 4 p.m. He definitively told aides and other Republican leaders that he would not mount a write-in campaign this fall against the Tea Party candidate, David Brat, who defeated him soundly in the Virginia Republican primary.
He declared, “To run a write-in campaign is to run not as a Republican, and I am a Republican,” according to witnesses who were at an extended leadership meeting in the Capitol.
Where Eric Cantor Won and Lost
Map of the results and charts of his margins in previous elections.
Top House Republicans called a 4 p.m. meeting of all Republican members as the scramble to remake the Republican leadership swung into high gear just hours after Mr. Cantor’s surprise defeat. Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the No. 3 Republican, made it clear he will seek Mr. Cantor’s soon-to-be-vacant No. 2 slot. But he will be challenged by Representative Pete Sessions of Texas, the House Rules Committee chairman.
Representative Peter Roskam of Illinois, Mr. McCarthy’s chief deputy whip, will square off against Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, head of the conservative Republican Study Committee, for Mr. McCarthy’s House majority whip position.
But other wild cards are looming. Representative Jeb Hensarling of Texas, publicly thanked House colleagues for encouraging him to join the leadership race.
“There are many ways to advance the causes of freedom and free enterprise, and I am prayerfully considering the best way I can serve in those efforts,” he said.
Other potential challengers include Representatives Tom Price and Tom Graves of Georgia.
The contest between Mr. McCarthy and Mr. Sessions will tug hard at the Tea Party class of 2010.
Mr. Sessions headed the National Republican Congressional Committee the year of the Tea Party wave, and he enters the leadership race with the large Texas delegation behind him.
But Mr. McCarthy headed candidate recruitment in 2010. He pushed to expand the electoral map into long-held Democratic districts, pursued unusual candidates that he believed fit the newly drawn districts of 2010, and crisscrossed the country on their behalf. He also brings his own large whip operation to the race to counter the Texans.
House Republicans said the longer the fights fester below the surface, the more chance the campaigns could turn ugly and spread, sweeping in other targets, even Speaker John A. Boehner. One senior House Republican said, the party “can’t have a leadership race muddle all that we do until the November election,” and he encouraged leaders to make sure the races wrap up before the July 4 recess.
Another member said the faster the races can be run, the better the chance Mr. McCarthy has to become majority leader – and Mr. Cantor wants to smooth his advance. Otherwise, he added, “chaos could rein.”
WASHINGTON — Senator Saxby Chambliss, the Georgia Republican who helped lead efforts to find a bipartisan deficit reduction compromise, announced on Friday that he would retire at the end of 2014, a decision likely to set off a battle on the Republican Party’s right flank for a successor.
Already, organizations backed by the Tea Party were stirring interest in a primary challenge for Mr. Chambliss over his embrace of new revenues as a part of any comprehensive deficit package. Representatives Tom Price and Paul Broun, two Republican doctors and ardent conservatives from Georgia, had expressed interest in a possible challenge.
But without Mr. Chambliss in the picture, the Senate contest in Georgia could shape up to be a battle royale on the right. Other possible candidates could include Herman Cain, a failed presidential candidate, and Karen Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state who ran for governor in 2010 with the backing of Sarah Palin. Ms. Handel lost that contest but went on to a senior position at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer foundation, where she championed a controversial move to withhold financing for Planned Parenthood cancer screenings.
In a statement, Mr. Chambliss took pains to say he did not fear losing a primary challenge.
“Lest anyone think this decision is about a primary challenge, I have no doubt that had I decided to be a candidate, I would have won re-election,” he said. “In these difficult political times, I am fortunate to have actually broadened my support around the state and the nation due to the stances I have taken. Instead, this is about frustration, both at a lack of leadership from the White House and at the dearth of meaningful action from Congress.”
Democrats insisted they would make a run at his seat.
“Georgia will now offer Democrats one of our best pick-up opportunities of the cycle. There are already several reports of the potential for a divisive primary that will push Republicans to the extreme right. Regardless, there’s no question that the demographics of the state have changed and Democrats are gaining strength. This will be a top priority,” said Guy Cecil, executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
But in a mid-presidential term election, Georgia will present a steep climb for the Democratic Party.
h/t: The New York Times
Source: The New York Times