Republican Cantor to leave leading House post after election shock
Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - 02:00
June 11 - U.S. House GOP leader Eric Cantor says he will resign from his leadership job on July 31, following a surprise primary result that brought an abrupt halt to the career of a rising star in the Republican party. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: U.S. House of Representatives Republican leader Eric Cantor told his fellow Republicans that he will resign from his leadership job on July 31, just before the long summer break.
Cantor, who has served as House majority leader since 2011, unexpectedly lost a Virginia primary election on Tuesday (June 10) to college economics professor David Brat, a Tea Party activist.
His announcement to leave his leadership role came after an emergency closed-door meeting in Washington scheduled by House Republicans to discuss a way forward.
In making his announcement, Cantor suggested that he intends to remain active in the Republican party.
"While I will not be on the ballot in November, I will be a champion for conservatives across the nation who are dedicated to preserving liberty and providing opportunity," Cantor told reporters during a news conference after the closed door meeting.
"Truly what divides Republicans pales in comparison to what divides us as conservatives from the left and their Democratic party," he added.
Tuesday's surprise primary result brought an abrupt halt to the career of a rising star who had his eye on the top House job of Speaker.
It also sparked a fierce intra-party scramble for House leadership positions. But it was still unclear when party elections would be held.
The toppling of the No. 2 Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives left Cantor's political party in chaos on Wednesday, as financial markets worried the shakeup might renew messy budget fights that in the past have caused government shutdowns and near credit defaults.
The turmoil, however, has given Democrats a breather from a string of politically damaging events that were preoccupying Washington just five months before congressional elections.
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