Eric Cantor, Top Republican Jew, Hopes To Rebrand Unpopular GOP

Party Seeks New Image After Back-to-Back Obama Wins

New Look: Eric Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives, is launching an effort to rebrand the battered GOP.
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New Look: Eric Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives, is launching an effort to rebrand the battered GOP.

By Reuters

Published February 05, 2013.
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“….It is my hope that I can stand before you in two years and report back that our side, as well as the president’s, found within us the ability to set differences aside, to provide relief to so many millions of Americans who simply want their lives to work again,” Cantor said.

LEADERSHIP TENSIONS?

A Washington Post-ABC News/Washington poll last month found that 67 percent of Americans say that Republicans are doing “too little” to work with Obama.

The survey gave Republicans in Congress an approval rating of 24 percent, compared to a 37 percent rating for Democrats. Obama’s approval recently hit a four-year high of 60 percent.

Cantor, 50, is widely seen as a possible successor to John Boehner, 63, as House Speaker, the chamber’s top job.

While the two insist that they have a close working relationship, at times they have offered competing visions. On Tuesday, however, Boehner said they were on the same page.

Speaking with reporters after a meeting with House Republicans, Boehner said, “As I told the members, Eric’s giving a very important speech.”

“While there’s a lot of focus on the deficit and debt, there are a lot of other things that Republicans plan to do over the course of this year,” Boehner said.

“And if we’re going to connect with the American people, it’s important that they see, not only that we’re serious about solving our debt problem, but we’re serious about addressing issues like energy, like education, to show really the breath of the effort that we’re involved in,” Boehner added.

During the past two years, the White House has tried to make Cantor the face of congressional Republicans, and has made it clear that Obama prefers working with Boehner.

In an apparent effort to present a softer personal image, Cantor punctuated his prepared speech with references to a long lineup of people, including his wife and three children, his dad, a Baltimore nurse and a police officer from his hometown of Richmond, Virginia.

He spoke of visiting an inner-city school this week, and introduced a student from the school and his father to illustrate his interest in finding new solutions in education.


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