Rep. Terry: Cantor's Loss Tells GOP That 'Compromise Could Get You Beat'

By Susan Jones | June 12, 2014 | 8:51 AM EDT

U.S. Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) (AP File Photo)

( - Rep. Eric Cantor's primary loss to a more conservative challenger in Virginia is "stunning," and it sends the message that compromise is a "bad thing," Rep. Lee Terry, a Nebraska Republican, told CNN on Wednesday.

"And so the message to us is, negotiation or compromise could get you beat."

Cantor's loss is "sending shivers throughout the Republican conference," Terry admitted, especially in a "non-establishment year" when people are upset in general.

"If you're in Congress, people are angry at you," Terry said.

"I think that's one of the messages is that, first of all, if you're here, you've got a target just because you're here. You can do great work, but they're still going to come after you. And number two, do we compromise? How do we work together? All of this is now in question."

Asked if he feels less inclined to compromise, Terry responded: "Well I think you have to really look at each issue. But yes, I think the first thing you're going to say is, do I -- is there political harm in having negotiations? Because negotiations is a bad thing now."

Congressional gridlock could get worse, Terry said, noting that one of the specific things used against Cantor was "that he had been part of some of these compromises like what kept the government open. And that was used against him. And so the message to us is negotiation or compromise could get you beat."

Last October, Cantor was one of 87 House Republicans who voted to enact a continuing resolution to fund the government, including the implementation of Obamacare. As reported at the time, House Speaker John Boehner (R.-Ohio), Majority Leader Cantor (R.-Va.), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R.-Calif.) and Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R.-Wash.) all joined with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) and 197 other House Democrats to vote for the CR that funded Obamacare.

On Wednesday, Terry told CNN that Cantor's loss may also stem from his failure to spend enough time in his district.

"I've heard a lot that maybe it was immigration. But I don't think it was any one issue. I think it was, A, you're establishment and, B, when you become a leader you become a national guy and so your time is spread out so thin that maybe you don't get to your district as much."