Two House Republicans on Sunday cautioned against reading too much into the loss of outgoing House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorGOP shifting on immigration Breitbart’s influence grows inside White House Ryan reelected Speaker in near-unanimous GOP vote MORE (R-Va.) or the battle to succeed him.
Price said the week-long campaign favors individuals, such as McCarthy, with an apparatus in place.
“That doesn’t mean that the conservative wing, the Tea party group within the House of Representatives, has lost any of its luster at all,” Price said.
“I think the division that has been cited has been exaggerated,” he added.
McCarthy has done a “great” job as whip, added National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.).
“He has a lot of friends across the spectrum of the conference,” Walden said. And I think he will end up winning this in a pretty solid way.”
Walden said pundits and analysts are “making all kinds of claims” about what happened in Cantor’s race without realizing “the facts on the ground.”
“There is enormous energy in the grassroots conservative base of the Republican Party and they’re upset about Washington, they’re really upset about Barack Obama and his policies and the last thing they want is Nancy Pelosi back as Speaker,” Walden said.
“What you have is conservatives at the grassroots level who fired up like they were in 2010 and it’s going to play out in the fall and it’s not going to be good for the Democrats,” he added.
Walden said immigration reform played a role in Cantor's Virginia race, but added that it centered on voter turnout and what kind of campaign was run.
Price said there are differences among party members, but pointed to issues that unite Republicans in his state including border security, the deal to release Sgt. Bow Bergdahl and the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups.