GOP's Cantor Plays Foil in Obama's Bipartisan Push

By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Feb 26, 2009 11:40 AM CST
Eric Cantor, bottom left, joins a bipartisan meeting with President Obama.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – At a time when congressional Republicans hold little power, Minority Whip Eric Cantor has finagled a pivotal role for himself in Washington. Cantor—Barack Obama’s Republican of choice in bipartisan overtures—has coyly positioned himself against House Democrats instead of the popular president, Rick Klein notes for ABC News. He’s given the GOP a singular voice, and used Obama’s campaign promise of bipartisanship to boost his own standing.

The Virginian, often compared to adviser Newt Gingrich, enjoys more popularity with the Obama than Gingrich did with Bill Clinton. “I believe his heart is in the right place,” Cantor says of Obama, similar in age and work ethic. “When Cantor meets with the president he comes up with ideas,” a fellow lawmaker says—and those ideas may give Republicans a few victories.