Eric Cantor’s Loss Petrifies Republicans: Hunt

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June 11 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor plans to step aside from his leadership post on July 31, following his primary election loss and with several leading Republicans jockeying to run for his No. 2 position. Bloomberg’s Al Hunt speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “Bottom Line.” (Source: Bloomberg)

It petrified them.

The message is you have to protect your right front.

All of that narrative a few weeks ago that the tea party was something you did not have to worry about the challengers, the perception is now, they got eric cantor.

But i thought eric cantor was the tea party.

What happened?

Well, that is an interesting point.

He is.

If you were in washington and analyze the house leadership, the republican party in the house, you would say that eric cantor is one of the real conservatives.

That is not the way he was viewed by the rank and file, and that is what killed him.

What was his undoing?

Was it, perhaps, his willingness to compromise on immigration reform?

I am sure that is a piece of it.

It is like everything.

It is not one thing.

I would guess more than anything, and i did not this coming.

I was shocked last night, as i think just about everybody else was.

I think there was a sense that he was from the district.

It is interesting.

I looked at my blackberry last night, and i thought it was a mistake.

I did also.

I think the single most surprising primary election return since i have been covering politics.

It is different from when house speaker tom foley was defeated and when tom daschle was defeated in the senate, because that was in the general.

They were defeated by republicans, correct, not a primary?

You're absolutely right.

They were defeated by republicans, and they were both republican years.

This is a totally different order.

And i cannot think of anything that has this kind of repercussions.

And this is unusual.

Speaking of unusual, how worried is speaker john boehner right now?

I think john boehner is worried and a different sense, not so much for his own job.

I think at least entertaining the notions of perhaps leaving.

This makes it almost impossible for him to leave now because there is such a void of leadership.

No one can raise the kind of money that he can raise for the party in the next election cycle, but what worries him is there will be -- i mean the next five weeks, the children, babies, you do not want to see what is going on in the house of representatives.

They are jockeying.

They are fighting.

These internal struggles are not welcome, and nobody knows what really motivates them, and it is going to be a humongous fight for the majority leader and possibly for whip too.

Talk to us about that.

Who wants the job?

The head of the financial committee right now.

The other strong candidate might be kevin mccarthy, who is the current whip.

Usually, the republican party moves people up.

I think there will be a very formidable candidate.

Pete sessions says he is going to run.

I think another will bow out, and then the issue becomes there is the right wing of the party, the ultra-white wingers -- ultra-right-wingers.

Is that something that is going to happen?

Will speaker boehner have a choice?

Speaker boehner can certainly influence if there is an open whip.

I think that would be different.

Majority leader, i think the speaker's influence will be very limited.

This is something where these guys vote on their own, and i will tell you, describing what a caucus is like, he said it was not fit for family television, so there will be a lot of fun, but it will be rough.

We have about 20 seconds.

What other races are worrying republicans right now?

Is a sippy.

June 24. that mississippi runoff.

The tea party candidate, if that wins, you could have todd akin having an effect.

All right, our bloomberg news columnist joining us from

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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