It’s not much of a secret that there is a real reluctance by the rank and file in the U.S. House of Representatives to support Rep. Michele Bachmann’s, R-Minn., run for the open House Republican Conference slot.
The favorite among more House Republicans presently seems to be Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas. Both have near-perfect voting records according to the America Conservative Union. One of the Hensarling backers, likely House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., appeared on Fox Business Network’s “Imus in the Morning” and gave a real unconvincing reason for not supporting Bachmann. Host Don Imus pressed Cantor on his pick.
Exchange as follows:
IMUS: Well, in an effort to stir up trouble.
CANTOR: Why would you ever do that?
IMUS: As we made clear, [Bachmann] really represents the Tea Party. So if she were to ascend to this leadership role that would be a representative for them that they’re not otherwise going to have. Why wouldn’t you back her instead of the other buddy of yours from Texas?
CANTOR: You know what, Imus, I think with the Tea Party is looking for is results, is a return to fiscal discipline.
IMUS: They want to participate in making a decision about those results.
CANTOR: If you look at the results of the election – we had 60-plus, 61, 62, depending on the number, and the Tea Party elected –
IMUS: But the Tea Party –
CANTOR: I think the Tea Party has a lot to do with the energy that came out at the polls, because they’re like the tip of the spear. They represent reflect the frustration that Americans have at what is going on in Washington.
IMUS: She gets characterized — not here, but by some people being a moron and not knowing –
CANTOR: What people don’t know about Michele Bachmann, she has an LL.M. in tax, she is a lawyer. She is a very confident businesswoman. You know, they can think what they want, but she has tremendous amount of intelligence and savvy. A big following.
IMUS: Why can’t we get you to back her this morning?
CANTOR: Again, it was Jeb Henserling in the race. He is a good friend of mine. He is somebody who I believe will deliver competent conservative results. There is probably, if you listed who could run, there’s no two better to reflect the common sense conservative values to return to. So again, I think our members are well served in either stead, whatever the outcome of that election is.
During the 2010 election cycle, Bachmann raised an incredible $11 million for her race. Hensarling, who faced only token opposition in his congressional race, raised $1.6 million for his. That’s something to consider going forward.
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