House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has started to reassert his presence on Capitol Hill and in the coming weeks the Virginia Republican will introduce a new path for the shaken GOP to follow, The New York Times reports
That direction will be a “softer track’’ that goes beyond contentious budget showdowns and deficit talks, the newspaper says.
“We are in a town run by Democrats, and we cannot win the hearts and minds of Americans if we are just talking about numbers, day in and day out,” a Cantor aide told The Times.
“There are a lot of things Republicans care about.”
One House Republican told the newspaper: “This is all about the longer term. Get rid of the image of being too grasping and ambitious.’’
Cantor is to unveil the GOP’s new direction on Feb. 5 during a meeting of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think-tank.
But that path could be baited with political landmines.
The Times says if Cantor “becomes too closely associated with Mr. Boehner, he could be swept aside in the event of a broad leadership upheaval. But he cannot look like the architect of upheaval and risk losing the gavel in the melee.’’
Boehner has been struggling to keep the Republicans united amid much dissention.
Cantor broke with Boehner over the fiscal-cliff deal by voting against it and also helped with the passage of the Hurricane Sandy relief bill that Boehner initially postponed.
Republican lawmakers and aides tell the Times that Cantor could be emerging as a potential rival to Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan as the next House Speaker.
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