Cantor: ‘Average American’ Thinking About How to Make Their Life Work, Not Concerned with GOP

By Penny Starr | February 5, 2013 | 10:53 PM EST

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor talks about the Republican Party at the American Enterprise Institute on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013. ( Starr)

( – House Majority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) rebuffed a question about who speaks for the Republican Party following a policy speech he made Tuesday at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.

“We’re hearing from many Republican governors and senators and House members about what’s most important for Republicans as they go forward,” an unidentified man asked following Cantor’s speech.  “For the average American trying to figure out where the Republican Party is headed now, after the election, who should the public be listening to? Who really speaks for the Republican Party at this point?” the man asked Cantor.

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“I would just differ a little bit,” Cantor said. “The average American is not thinking about and trying to wonder about where the Republican Party is. They’re thinking about how to make their life work, which is exactly what we are talking about here today,” Cantor said.

Cantor then mentioned the guests he had invited to the event, including Joseph Kelley, whose four children attend private schools in D.C. through the Opportunity Scholarship program; a child who survived cancer; and a Chinese woman who is attending graduate school in the United States.

“Joseph Kelley doesn’t care where the Republican Party is going,” Cantor said. “He cares about taking care of his kids.

“Fiona Zhou doesn’t care about where the Republican Party is,”Cantor said. “She cares about having the ability to stay in this country to help all Americans – Republican or Democrat or Independent – have a better life,” Cantor said.

“And I can assure you that Katie Schools and her mom don’t care about what Republicans are advocating here,” Cantor said. “They want to see results. And the point of my talk today is to say that we Republicans in the House are dedicated to those ends.”

The direction of the Republican Party, however, is very much on the minds of some conservatives, especially given the recent launch of the Conservative Victory Project by former Bush adviser Karl Rove.

Rove says the goal of his new group is to back the most conservative Republican candidates who are deemed electable. Rove insists this is not a case of tea party versus establishment Republicans, but that's the way many conservatives see it.

“We don’t need a second Democrat Party in Washington,” L. Brent Bozell III, founder of ForAmerica, said in a statement released on Monday. “If we had listened to them, there would be no Pat Toomey, no Marco Rubio, no Mike Lee, no Rand Paul, and no Ted Cruz in the Senate today.

“In every case the moderates said they too were ‘unelectable.’ It’s these same Rockefeller Republicans who said Ronald Reagan was unelectable,” Bozell said.

“These fake conservatives need to go away before they do more damage,” Bozell said.

“I dare say any candidate who gets this group’s support should be targeted for destruction by the conservative movement,” RedState’s Erick Erickson wrote on his website.

Bozell is the founder and president of Media Research Center, the parent organization of