NRCC chairman calls Cantor 'steadfast leader' in wake of defeat

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has been a "steadfast leader" following his shocking loss Tuesday night.

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"Eric Cantor has been a steadfast leader for our party, and a great friend and mentor for so many House Republicans. I know Eric will continue to lead on the issues he cares so deeply about," Walden said in a statement first shared with The Hill.

The House GOP campaign committee chief's statement didn't mention professor Dave Brat (R), whose upset is roiling House leadership, creating chaos for the current session and even more uncertainty for who will lead the party when House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) eventually decides to step aside.

GOP leaders took hours to put out statements following Cantor's loss, a sign of how surprised they were by the outcome.

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