Tags: cantor | pelosi | meeting

Cantor: Speaker Pelosi Won't Meet With Me

Tuesday, 09 Jun 2009 12:30 PM

By Dave Eberhart

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Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., is complaining on the record that his repeated requests to meet privately with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., have been turned away, according to a report in The Hill.

The House minority whip told The Hill: “I have been told that Speaker Pelosi doesn’t like to meet with Republicans … I would say that is the case in my instance. I have put in requests to meet with her and have yet to be responded to.”

For sure, Cantor may not be at the top of Pelosi’s personal hit parade – since the persistent lawmaker has badgered her to put up or shut up regarding her now infamous claim that the CIA misled her about waterboarding.

Newsmax’s Ronald Kessler in a recent exclusive interview with Cantor caged some comments about her allegations that the CIA routinely lies to Congress.

“If you have the speaker of the House of Representatives, who is second in line to the president and the vice president, making allegations that she has made, it just presents a serious question,” the Virginia Republican said.

Cantor argued that there is a need to determine the truth about Pelosi’s claim.

“To say categorically that the CIA misrepresents itself and lies to Congress, that is so outrageous -- but if it’s true we need to know it,” Cantor said. “I cannot imagine that it helps at all, when you’ve got members of our intelligence community risking their lives every single day for us. In addition to that, swift action is called for because her statement sends a terrible message to our enemies, not to mention our friends.”

Since that timely interview, Cantor has not let up on Pelosi.

The Hill reported that in a recent floor exchange, Cantor went so far as to question whether Pelosi should even continue to receive intelligence briefings.

In a heated discussion with Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., the pair debated the suggested sanction by Cantor. Hoyer questioned Cantor’s logic, calling it “incomprehensible.”

Cantor told The Hill that he is familiar with being in the hot seat. Even President Barack Obama singled him out during a February meeting with lawmakers, telling the room that he can’t wait for the day when Cantor actually praised one of his ideas.

For his part, Cantor says he admires the president and has little interest in attacking him on a personal level. As for taking on Democratic policies, that’s another matter. And in a bad note for Pelosi, the lawmaker admitted he was more than anxious to talk about other Democratic personalities – Madame Speaker for one.

Last week while speaking with reporters after a tour of a Des Moines middle school that is getting stimulus money, Pelosi charged that Republicans were using the issue of her 2003 CIA briefing to divert attention from Democrats’ accomplishments.

“Our success in the Congress is driving the Republicans to distraction, and this is what that’s all about -- a distraction from the creation of jobs, which is our responsibility, education of our children, preservation of our planet,” Pelosi said.

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