Media Call With House Whip Eric Cantor In Kabul, Afghanistan
Eric Cantor is a fifth-term congressman representing the Seventh District of Virginia. He recently won re-election to Congress in November 2008.
In December 2008, Eric was elected to serve as the Republican Whip. Eric also holds a seat on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, which has direct jurisdiction over taxes, trade, Social Security, Medicare, prescription drugs for seniors, health care and welfare reform.
Republican Whip Eric Cantor is currently visiting Iraq and Afghanistan. The young democracy held historic provincial elections last weekend. Eric held a conference call with bloggers this afternoon after his fact finding trip into the former quagmire.
Eric Cantor recorded this message after visiting Baghdad yesterday:
Eric Cantor made three stops in Baghdad yesterday before leaving for Afghanistan.
Cantor says the success in Iraq is very fragile and that we need to leave politics out of it and pay attention to what the commanders on the ground are saying about a potential withdrawal.
He landed in Afghanistan today. It is one of the poorest countries in the world. In 2001 Afghanistan was a base for the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The job in hand is to help a people and government to be able to sustain and secure itself and its borders. The troops here are living in a very harsh environment. It is a much different situation in Iraq from what we have here in Afghanistan. This is an international effort here. All of the NATO countries have troops here or are contributing.
Question: What are you hearing about the timeline for withdrawal?
Eric Cantor: The Iraqi troops secured the elections. The elections validated a political system of democracy. I met with the Iraqi president and he was very pleased with the elections.
Question: Obama tweaked the GOP about the stimulus. Do you see any evidence that the stimulus bill is more acceptable than the previous plan?
Eric Cantor: We want a bipartisan bill. Unfortunately, the process that took place in the House was politics as usual. The final bill is chalk-full of spending that will not help the crisis today. Considering the cost- the bill will be over $1 trillion with interest. The GOP plan creates twice as many jobs and costs less.
Question: Obama ran his campaign saying that Iraq was a mistake. Today, Iraq today is a democracy. We have women in the government. They just held historic elections. Is there any temptation to point to Iraq and say (to democrats), “See I told you so!”
Eric Cantor: I don’t know if that would be helpful. We have seen great progress. A prevalent attitude from the troops I talked with is that there has been success but not to withdrawal early.
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My Comment: Republicans should shove the success in Iraq down the throats of the defeatists every time they get in front of a microphone. Democrats almost succeeded in fleeing Iraq- genocide be damned.
That would have been an international catastrophe.
Instead, there were peaceful elections this past week without one reported incident of violence. The secularists won and Al-Sadr is crying.
Democrats would have allowed millions of Iraqis to be slaughtered so they might have a political win here at home.
They should be held to account for their shameful record.