Cantor: Country Continues to Strive Towards Equality for All Americans
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Thursday acknowledged that prejudice and inequality remain an issue in the country.
"All of us know that in this country, we haven't always gotten right in terms of social matters, religious matters, whatever," he said in response to Politico's Mike Allen's question during the newspaper's monthly Playbook Breakfast at the W Hotel in Washington, D.C. about an anti-Semitic comment that Illinois Congressman Don Manzullo reportedly made against him. "We continue to strive to provide equal treatment to everybody, but to sit here and say in America that we got it all right now. I think that pretty much all of us can say we still got work to do."
Cantor's comments come a day after the House Committee on Education held a hearing on the impact of an executive order that would ban federal contractors from discriminating against their LGBT employees. The three witnesses who testified on Capitol Hill said they have not heard "a single complaint" from Republicans on the proposed mandate that President Barack Obama has declined to issue.
Cantor further reiterated that Republicans continue to highlight the economy and jobs on the campaign trail.
"If this election goes as the public polls suggest, it's going to be about jobs and the economy," he said. "We welcome the opportunity for voters to see the difference between our vision as to the direction of the economy of the country should take versus the president's. It's very clear; the results have not been there. The economic policies of this White House have failed. And I think people understand that."
Only 19 percent of voters who took part in the annual Conservative Political Action Committee straw poll in February cited the promotion of "traditional values" as their top priority in this election cycle. A May 2011 Gallup poll shows that 53 percent of Americans now support nuptials for gays and lesbians.
"The middle is focused on issues that affect their everyday lives," he said in response to Allen's question about whether presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney can garner support among moderate voters. "Right now people are squarely focused on making their lives better. They want higher wages. They want to see tuition for college come down. They want to see health care costs come down. They want to see gas prices come down. They want to see their neighbors and they have more job security. All these things have been out there and provided uncertainly in people's lives for too long now and the leadership they're looking at in the White House is not responding to that anxiety. And I think that's why Mitt Romney and whoever he picks as VP is going to be the anecdote that people are looking for."