A few weeks ago, the House GOP was up in arms over House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) $25,000 donation to anti-incumbent candidate Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who ultimately defeated his opponent, incumbent Rep. Don Manzullo (R-IL). But the story got a little more fraught when it turned out that Manzullo once said Cantor would not be “saved” because he is Jewish.
Today, Cantor, the only Jewish House Republican, nearly affirmed that this was the reason he fought against Manzullo’s re-election, insinuating that anti-Semitism — and racism — are lingering problems among the House GOP generally. He speaking at a breakfast event organized by Politico.
Calling it the “darker side,” Cantor responded to Politico’s Mike Allen’s question of whether there is anti-semitism in Congress by trying to avoid commenting. But eventually he let up: “I think that all of us know that in this country, we’ve not always gotten it right in terms of racial matters, religious matters, whatever. We continue to strive to provide equal treatment to everybody.”
“We’re talking about the House Republican Caucus, not America,” Allen pushed.
Cantor then sat in silence, grimmacing for several seconds before Allen changed the topic.
The National Jewish Democratic Council released a statement on Cantor’s remarks: “It’s both admirable and disturbing in the extreme to hear Majority Leader Cantor’s candid remarks regarding the dual challenges of racism and anti-Semitism that he has detected in the House GOP caucus.”