Eric Cantor Backs His 'Dear Friend' Kevin McCarthy for Majority Leader

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During a Wednesday press conference following his shocking loss in the Republican primary last night, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor endorsed his "dear friend" Rep. Kevin McCarthy to become his successor. "He'd make an outstanding majority leader, and I will be backing him with my full support," Cantor said.

Earlier in the day Cantor announced that he would not do a write-in ballot, and would step down as majority leader at the end of this month. The names of several possible candidates have already popped up, including House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Peter Sessions. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has already announced that she won't try to take Cantor's place

Cantor refused to address the political ramifications of his loss, specifically speculation that his support of immigration reform ended his campaign. "I'm gonna leave the political analysis to y'all," he said, adding that "my position on immigration has not changed. I have always said the system is broken and needs reforms." He emphasized a path that would focus on a path to citizenship for children brought into the country illegally, but didn't mention his anti-"amnesty" mailers

As for his shocking defeat by his underfunded Tea Party opponent, David Brat, Cantor thanked his staff and argued that he just "came up short." At the same time, he pointed to the common ground between the right and the far right. "Remember what the acronym means: Taxed Enough Already," he said. "All of us Republicans and conservatives believe that." 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.