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Cantor Waxes Positive About All Things GOP

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) expressed confidence Thursday morning that his Conference would unite behind its alternative budget proposal and reject the Democratic spending blueprint headed for final passage later in the day.Cantor, charged with counting votes for the House GOP, also rejected criticism that his party botched its first attempt last week to offer its budget alternative. Republicans teased their proposal with a 19-page document that contained no numbers; they unveiled a specific plan this week that looks to reverse much of the economic stimulus bill.“Unfortunately, [the press] missed what was going on,— Cantor told reporters assembled at a breakfast held by the Christian Science Monitor on Thursday morning.The No. 2 House Republican explained that the first alternative unveiled was simply an introduction of principles, and that the budget proposal that followed is a “detailed road map— to get the country back on the road to prosperity.Cantor rejected the notion that moderate Republicans would have a hard time voting for the GOP-drafted document that contains traditionally divisive issues such sweeping cost controls on Medicare and Medicaid and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.He predicted the GOP would rally together, united by desires to strengthen national security through energy independence and shore up government programs that could disappear if the economic situation worsens.Cantor said that by raising federal spending, Democrats were “overreacting— to the economic crisis. But he largely held his fire on President Barack Obama — calling him a “smart guy— and pointing out he was still shy of his first 100 days in office.Cantor, who has been the darling of cable television of late, also attempted to dispel the notion that he does not agree with any of the president’s positions. He said he and Obama are on the same page on some education issues such as merit-based pay for teachers and on allowing parents to send their children to the public school of their choice.But Cantor said that if the Obama administration continues to spend money the way it has over the past few months, it could result in electoral success for the minority party.“I don’t remove the prospect that we would take the majority back in 2010,— Cantor said.

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