Dave Brat crushed GOP powerhouse Eric Cantor, but don't expect Republicans to hail the little-known Virginia economics professor in the nation's capital, according to Betsy Woodruff, a political reporter for the Washington Examiner.
"Brat's not going to have the warmest welcome ever on Capitol Hill,'' Woodruff told Mary Walter, guest host of "The Steve Malzberg Show'' on Newsmax TV.
Heavily affiliated with the tea party, Brat has given an "injection of energy'' to the more-conservative arm of the Republican Party, even though it donated no money to his campaign, according to Woodruff.
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"The tea party can't really claim a scalp, [but] they can definitely capitalize on it and say, 'Look, there's an appetite to throw the bums out. If we can take out Cantor, we can take out anyone,''' she said.
"Brat just never really sold himself … so they stayed out. Yeah, it's definitely weird to paint this as a tea party win when national tea party groups really can't take any responsibility for Eric Cantor's loss.''
She added Brat is "very close'' with a number of grassroots organizations in Virginia — factions apparently forgotten about by Cantor, who was expected to succeed to House Speaker John Boehner.
"He kind of has a foot on both sides of the fence here. He's familiar with Richmond Insiders, but also knows his way around in grassroots, tea party, libertarian, activists in Virginia's seventh district,'' she said.
Woodruff believes Tuesday's shocking primary results, which saw Brat in a double digit victory, are "less a situation of Brat winning so much as of Cantor losing.''
"Cantor really bungled it. He wasn't very visible in the district, didn't really have yard signs, spent most of his money on negative ads against Dave Brat that actually dramatically raised that guy's profile," Woodruff said.
"Cantor folks just weren't that involved. On top of that, there has been blood brewing between Cantor and grassroots activists in the district.
"Young Guns Virginia, an offspring of a group that Cantor founded, invested a lot of time and resources in going after conservative activists … [and] a lot of these guys said, heck no, it's open season, gunning for Cantor.'
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