Voters are furious with their leaders in Washington, and they likely turned against House Speaker Eric Cantor because they see him as an insider, former House Intelligence Chairman Pete Hoekstra told "America's Forum" host J.D. Hayworth on Wednesday on Newsmax TV.
"Somewhere over the last number of years, Eric Cantor probably has disconnected with the voters, and they identified him as being more aligned with the interests in Washington rather than the interests back at his home district," the Michigan Republican said. "You put those two things together, you can outspend your opponent by 20 or 30 to 1, but if they think you've 'gone D.C.' on them, and if they hate D.C., you're going to lose."
But Hoekstra does not think Cantor ran a good campaign and says he "lost to somebody he should never have lost to."
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In comparison, many critics thought South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham would have trouble, but "Graham ran a very good campaign. He ended up last night with 59 percent of the vote."
Hoekstra warned about "reading too much into any specific issue."
"The leadership will be focused on just how this guy [David Brat] beat Cantor," said Hoekstra, recalling his arrival in Washington in 1992 after beating incumbent Rep. Guy Vander Jagt.
"I came to Washington in September, and the doors were open," Hoekstra told Hayworth, and lawmakers wanted to know "what happened, because they wanted to make sure it didn't happen to them."
Meanwhile, Hoekstra said he does not think Brat will have any difficulty getting help from the National Republican Congressional Committee, which works to bolster incumbent victories.
"If he needs help, I'm sure they'll come in, but what Mr. Brat wants and what the rest of the conference wants is to focus on growing the Republican majority, and that's what they're going to focus on," said Hoekstra.
The former lawmaker said he has also been hearing "ridiculous things" coming from Democrats about Cantor's loss, but he says that if Brat is elected, "he's going to be a solid conservative Republican. He's not going to be a flaming right wing."
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