Eric Cantor's decision to resign as House Majority Leader is a bad idea that will wreak havoc in the Republican Party, says former Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas, who held the same position.
"A leadership race is a very divisive thing … and [will] create ill will amongst the personalities,'' DeLay told "The Steve Malzberg Show'' on Newsmax TV.
"Eric Cantor should stay in his office and serve it out so that there's not this big fight right in the middle of an election.''
On Wednesday, Cantor announced he will step down as House majority leader on July 31 following a stunning GOP primary loss in Virginia against college economics professor Dave Brat, a tea party favorite.
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DeLay said he speaks from experience because chaos erupted when he resigned in September 2005, triggering an ugly leadership fight.
"There was a leadership race of about four weeks that was intense. It created a bad floor within the conference … right in the middle of an election," DeLay said.
"It took four to six weeks for John Boehner to put together a staff for his offices and by the time he was up and running, the election of 2006 was already half over.
"It wasn't the reason they lost the House, but it had an impact because they were not focused on winning the election. That's what they ought to do. Eric Cantor should serve out his term.''
Cantor's resignation will come into effect on July 31 leaving little more than three months before the midterm election in which the GOP hopes to hold on to the House and take the Senate.
DeLay called Cantor's double digit loss a shock, but not a surprise.
"What I've been seeing around this country … [is] a spiritual revival going on and I call it a revolution for the Constitution," DeLay said.
"People are really looking for people that have a strong faith in God and understand the Constitution and will stand up and fight for the Constitution, and that's Dave Brat.
"Every speech that he gives he talks about God, his faith in God, bringing God back into the public square so that we can have a moral fiber in our society again.''
DeLay said Brat ran on the "Republican creed,'' by promoting free market principles, equality, a strong defense, and faith in God.
"Leadership had a big part to play in it, though. Eric Cantor got tarred with that brush of people being upset with the Republican leadership in the House and not being able to hold Obama accountable,'' he said.
"Eric voted to reopen the government when that big shutdown [occurred] last year.''
Cantor's loss sends a "very strong'' message to the Republican hierarchy — one they dare not ignore, DeLay said.
"The Republican leadership better understand and reconnect with the conservatives out there … and join this spiritual revival and this revolution for the Constitution,'' he said.
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