House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Sunday that he does not think his stance on immigration reform or any latent anti-Semitism of voters cost him his seat in Congress.
Cantor disputed the characterization that he has been wishy-washy on immigration reform by working on legislation to give legal status to young illegal immigrants but also sending out a campaign mailer touting his opposition to “amnesty.”
“My position on immigration has not changed. It was the way it is before the primary, during it and now,” he told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“I took a principled position,” he added. “I have always said that I am not for a comprehensive amnesty bill, but I've always said that I was for the kids who, due to no fault of their own, find themselves here and know no other place as home.”
Cantor also disputed the theory that anti-Semitism may have cost him votes after Brat stressed his Christian faith during the campaign. Cantor is Jewish.
Brat called his victory after being outspent by a ratio of 26 to 1 “a miracle from God.”
Cantor said he does not want to think voters held his religious heritage against him.
“I don't even want to impute that to anybody,” he said. “You know, as you rightly say, I'm born and raised Jewish. My faith is very important to me.”
Cantor said he would lean on his religious upbringing to handle the greatest setback to his political career.
“I'm going to continue to try and work with the lessons that I've learned from my early years in Hebrew school, learning about the Old Testament and much greater leaders than I with personal setbacks, uh, but always focused on being optimistic about the future,” he said.
Cantor also said he would vote for his primary opponent in the general election, but stopped short of congratulating economics professor Dave Brat.
--This report was updated at 10:52 a.m.