Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Forward 50 2012

Eric Cantor

For the highest-ranking Jewish representative in Congress, elections are mainly about helping others. Majority leader Eric Cantor crisscrossed the country this election year, helping out struggling fellow Republicans with a boost of energy and campaign cash.

At 49, Cantor, the only Jewish Republican in Congress, has established himself as a political powerhouse mentioned in any shortlist of future GOP leaders. The leap of close friend and fellow Republican “Young Gun” Paul Ryan to the presidential ticket also highlighted Cantor’s bright future in the party.

But Cantor’s rise to the second-ranking position in the House of Representatives has also come at some political cost. With Congress, and especially House Republicans, being portrayed as obstructionists and blamed by the public for a stalemate in Washington, Cantor has taken a hit. Though he easily won reelection in his home district in Richmond, Va., Cantor was forced to defend himself from claims that he is part of the Washington political machine.

In Jewish politics, nonetheless, Cantor’s stardom has not diminished, and he is the most sought-after speaker at events hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition. Speaking at fundraisers and Jewish political gatherings, Cantor often expresses his wish to lose his exclusive status as the only Jewish Republican on Capitol Hill and to see other Jewish GOP members get elected to office.

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.