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Earlier this morning, Eric Cantor went on MSNBC to sound like Mr. Responsible, dismissing the importance of Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge and saluting John Boehner for putting revenue on the table. Then, two hours later, Cantor went on Fox to sound like Mr. Republican, not only talking about how strongly he opposes raising taxes, but even saying President Obama needs to put Obamacare repeal back on the table.
Here's a quick video montage:
Good cop, bad cop can be an effective negotiating strategy, but when you play it all by yourself—as Eric Cantor attempted to do this morning—you end up looking like Mitt Romney meets Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. And it doesn't help things when your office clarifies that you never intended to sound like a good cop:
In a follow-up interview, Cantor’s office stressed that he remains against raising tax rates.
“Republicans aren't against tax rate hikes because of any one man or pledge,” spokeswoman Megan Whittemore said. “We are against hiking rates, because they're bad for the economy and hurt jobs. We've put ideas on the table that bring more money in while keeping tax rates where they are to produce job growth. It's now time for President Obama to put his ideas on the table for spending cuts and entitlement reform if he truly embraces a balanced approach.”
So Cantor wants to sound like he's reasonable, but whether he's against ending the Bush tax cuts because he fears Grover Norquist or because he thinks it's bad policy doesn't really matter. The end result is still the same. At the end of the day Eric Cantor is offering lower tax rates, less spending, and cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. It's almost like he forgot which side won this election.