Today, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) abruptly canceled his speech on income inequality scheduled for this afternoon at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Cantor placed the blame squarely on the university, saying they changed the attendance policy at the last minute:
“The Office of the Majority Leader was informed last night by Capitol Police that the University of Pennsylvania was unable to ensure that the attendance policy previously agreed to could be met,” wrote Cantor spokeswoman Laena Fallon. “Wharton is a educational leader in innovation and entrepreneurship, and the Majority Leader appreciated the invitation to speak with the students, faculty, alumni, and other members of the UPENN community.”
In a statement just released by the university, the school disputes Cantor’s explanation, saying the speech was always billed as “open to the general public”:
Wharton deeply regrets that the event scheduled at the School this afternoon with Majority Leader Eric Cantor has been cancelled. The University community was looking forward to hearing Majority Leader Cantor’s comments on important public issues, and we hope there will be another opportunity for him to speak on campus. The Wharton speaker series is typically open to the general public, and that is how the event with Majority Leader Cantor was billed. We very much regret if there was any misunderstanding with the Majority Leader’s office on the staging of his presentation.
Cantor’s decision followed plans for a large march and protest prior to the speech, with participation by Occupy Philadelphia and other groups. Cantor has previously dismissed the Occupy Wall Street movement as a “mob.”
You can read the full text of the speech that Cantor did not deliver HERE.