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Cantor May Be Setting Stage for Speakership Bid

Image: Cantor May Be Setting Stage for Speakership Bid

By Elliot Jager   |   Tuesday, 18 Feb 2014 06:34 AM

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia has been raising his public profile as speculation mounts that he is setting himself up for higher office should Speaker John Boehner choose to step down, The Washington Times reported.

Cantor has made a number of well-covered appearances,  most recently on Monday at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington where he delivered a major address on foreign policy.

On Friday he was in Tampa, Fla., at a private school talking about educational choice.

Also in February, he appeared on CBS' Face The Nation for an interview with Major Garrett. Later this month he will travel to campaign on behalf of GOP House candidates.

Cantor is carving out a right of center line that puts him at odds with the libertarian wing of the party, which leans toward a more isolationist foreign policy, while solidly articulating his pro-life stance which appeals to mainline conservatives.

He has also reiterated his support for federal funding of medical research.

Cantor has also staked out a position on immigration that would provide a pathway for children brought to the country by their illegal immigrant parents to become citizens.

GOP pollster David Winston said Cantor appreciates that Republicans need to present plain center-right ideas to voters if they want to win in 2014 and beyond, according to the Times. Cantor understands "you have to define for them the alternative vision they are going to get" if they vote Republican, said Winston.

There is speculation that Boehner, who has struggled to corral fragmented GOP lawmakers, may be ready to step down from the speakership at the end of this Congress, according to the Times.

"For Cantor, 2014 is shaping up as a pivotal year in his political career. With tough issues still facing the House and the midterm elections coming up in November, he'll need to unite the chamber's competing factions to demonstrate his readiness to step in as Boehner's successor," according to the Washington Examiner.

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