House Majority Leader Eric Cantor cast doubt on the legitimacy of a Donald Trump presidency on CNN’s American Morning on Wednesday.
“No, I don’t think he is really serious when we see a campaign launch on the ‘birther’ issue,” Cantor said when asked whether he would support a Trump candidacy.
Cantor has expressed doubt over the ‘birther’ issue in the past. On Meet The Press in January, Cantor declared that Barack Obama was a citizen of the United States. “I don’t think it’s an issue we need to address at all,” he said.
A CNN/Opinion Research poll released on April 12 shows Trump tied for first with Mike Huckabee in a hypothetical GOP primary. Trump’s 19 percent represents a significant increase in support from the previous month’s poll, in which Trump garnered 10 percent.
When asked whether Trump represents the Republican Party’s best hope to take back the White House, Cantor responded, “No, I don’t think so.”
Trump’s quick rise in the polls has been credited to his already strong name recognition, a media blitz he has made in recent weeks, regularly appearing on television shows to tease speculation about a presidential run while simultaneously sparking controversy by discussing his views on the existence of Obama’s birth certificate.
Many prominent Republicans have criticized Trump’s ‘birther’ strategy in recent days, including Marco Rubio, Tim Pawlenty, Karl Rove, and Mitt Romney.
Just yesterday, Romney told CNBC’s Larry Kudlow that “the citizenship test has been passed,” and last week Sen. Marco Rubio told Trump drop the ‘birther’ discussion in an exclusive interview with The DC’s Matt Lewis.
Cantor’s discussion of Trump on American Morning begins at 4:59: