Cantor Weighs in on a Condi Rice Candidacy

Eric Cantor
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Eric Cantor

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice “brings gravitas” and would be a “qualified” vice presidential candidate, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Wednesday on CNBC.

“She is a good friend. I’m a big fan of Condi Rice. She brings a lot of gravitas to whatever situation she can,” he said in an appearance on “The Kudlow Report.”

Pressed to say whether he was endorsing the former Bush administration official for the spot, Cantor demurred.

“I think — I think there are a lot of people that are qualified,” he said. “Certainly she’d be qualified.”

Rice, for her part, has said she would not take the job.

“I know what I’m not cut out to do,” she said, according to a story on NBC Bay Area.

A recent CNN poll found that Rice topped the list of possible names to run alongside presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney, with 26 percent of poll respondents making her their top pick. Former Sen. Rick Santorum followed, with 21 percent.

Cantor previously expressed support for Gov. Bob McDonnell, a fellow Virginian.

Asked by host Larry Kudlow whether Romney should pick a running mate well in advance, Cantor said it was the former Massachusetts governor’s choice.

“It’s his decision, but I know that Mitt Romney makes decisions that I think the American people will see is that he is a decisionmaker and if he makes that decision, I think great,” he said. “And if he makes that decision, it will be for a person that most Americans will say, you know what, that individual as a vice president will be qualified to be vice president.”

On a day the U.S. House of Representatives voted for the 33rd time in 18 months to repeal the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act, Cantor reiterated his opposition to the health care law.

(Related: Cantor Says 'We Need to Repeal' Obamacare)

“Individual costs have gone up significantly since the Obamacare bill has passed itself. And the fact is because of the rising costs, people are not going to be able to have the health care they like. So that's No. 1.

“No. 2, Obamacare’s model is Washington dictates to you what kind of health care coverage you can have. That is not the American way.”

The bill passed by the House by a vote of 244 to 185 has virtually zero chance of passing the Democratic-led Senate.

Cantor also said that the Republican-led Congress would oppose President Obama’s proposal to keep tax cuts on the first $250,000 of Americans’ incomes. Instead, he would eliminate the cap.

“We also are going to provide for a one-year extension of existing rates so that we can then engage in tax reform the way that Mitt Romney is talking about doing, all of us,” he said. “We want to simplify the code, we want to bring down rates for everybody. At the same time, the Democrats will have the ability to bring forward President Obama’s tax plan. If they feel that that’s the way forward for this country, raising taxes on small businesses in this anemic economy, they’ll have the opportunity to bring that forward.”

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