Politics

Are they drifting apart? Rumors swirl that Boehner and Cantor are less than cozy

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Jonathan Strong
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      Jonathan Strong

      Jonathan Strong, 27, is a reporter for the Daily Caller covering Congress. Previously, he was a reporter for Inside EPA where he wrote about environmental regulation in great detail, and before that a staffer for Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA). Strong graduated from Wheaton College (IL) with a degree in political science in 2006. He is a huge fan of and season ticket holder to the Washington Capitals hockey team. Strong and his wife reside in Arlington.

House Speaker John Boehner is being asked on TV about his political ally and deputy, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, but TV viewers don’t know the tangled back story, which involves rumors of rivalries and a history of GOP infighting.

“Eric Cantor, hows your relationship with him?” asked Fox host Bill Hemmer to Boehner in his first interview since party leaders struck a spending deal to avert government shutdown Friday night.

“Good! You know there’s a lot of people who want to write a lot of things about Eric and I, and the jostling for power. It’s just nonsense. Eric and I have this wonderful relationship, we understand each other. We walk through all these battles together. And I’m grateful for his leadership,” Boehner said.

On Sunday, Fox anchor Chris Wallace asked Cantor the same thing.

“There has been a lot of speculation in this town about your relationship with Speaker John Boehner. And there is this image that you’re kind of itchily waiting in the wings for him to leave and for you to be able to succeed him,” Wallace said, “Did he cement his position as speaker and his support inside the Republican Caucus by the way he handled this whole CR debate?”

“Yes. And John Boehner and I have had a relationship, we were in the minority, we’re working together very well in the majority …We have a very good working relationship. And we’re going to work together to see that these things happen,” Cantor said.

“So you back John Boehner as speaker of the House?” Wallace asked.

“Absolutely,” said Cantor, laughing.

“One hundred percent?” Wallace asked.

“Absolutely. And I’ve been on this show, Chris, probably a year ago saying that, six months ago saying that. And I’ll say it again now,” Cantor said.

One reason Wallace pressed Cantor is that Washington insiders, especially on K Street, have been buzzing about the tension between the two leaders.

For instance, at the height of the drama over a potential government shutdown, one Republican lobbyist close to Boehner’s camp called The Daily Caller and said the rift was threatening to break into the open under the strain of the high-profile fight between Boehner and the president.

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  • bigsigh

    Wouldn’t even be having this discussion if we had strict term limits.

  • JoeJ

    It seems that Cantor is Boehner’s shadow, everywhere Boehner is, so is Cantor. When has it ever been that the number person is so important – how is it that he has gotten so much face time from the media?

    Cantor has exhibited nothing of special value – he only speaks platitudes. Why is he there in power.

    The answer is simple – Cantor is AIPAC’s boy. What AIPAC wants AIPAC gets.

    You can be sure that AIPAC has the long knives out for Boehner – they want their boy in power.

    Long live Zionist Israel.

    • Hayek

      It’s so predictable …… the wafting stench of anti-Semitism.

      • JoeJ

        Rather – the truth cleanses and disinfects and frees – Jesus said so.

        Hayek is an honored name – why is a intellectually blind or dishonest person using it?

    • krjohnson

      The number person? You mean the House Majority Leader?

      Are you saying that, as an observer of politics, you’ve never heard of Dick Gephardt? Are you saying Tom DeLay was a nobody? Did Dick Armey just blend into the background?

      The House Majority Leader is the second most important position in the House. Sometimes the House Majority Leader is even more influential than the Speaker. There’s a darn good reason Eric Cantor is in the press, he’s in a very powerful position.

      • JoeJ

        Thank you for the correction – my meager communication skills too often show through.

        DeLay and Armey were interesting men in their own right – that cannot be denied. Cantor is a big zero – all he ever says are time worn political platitudes that any third string politician can say in his sleep. Whatever he says, 10 people have already said before him. Cantor does have power – power that AIPAC gave him.

        Delay and Army never received the face time that the media gives Cantor – sense when does a Republican get mucho face time from the media – oh’ I know, when he is a Zionist.

        Sorry, Cantor is only there because AIPAC controls the house.

        • bigsigh

          Everyone’s opinions are formed through their world view and life experiences, however, your anti-semetic rants remove any credibility from your comments.

          • JoeJ

            The problem is with Zionism not the Jewish people. Zionism is a mindset not a people. Nazism was a mindset not a people. Check it out.

          • bigsigh

            MLK would disagree with you. Zionism grew from anti-semitism. I checked it out and still think your rants are anti-semitic. I find your comparison offensive.

  • gc

    it would be nice for the caller to run a series of articles detailing the nature and roles aides on both sides of the the aisle play. i think Americans would be stunned by the power they yield.

  • FreedomRocks76

    Sorry, Speaker Bonehead is NOT the man to lead the reform movement and is more a part of the problem than he will ever be of the solution. Of course MY version of a “solution” leaves Schumer, Durkin, Pelosi and company so despondant they loose the will to live, resign, go home and hang themselves.