Cantor: Boehner critics weren't honest
© Greg Nash

Former House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorEric Cantor offering advice to end ‘immigration wars’ Trump's olive branch differs from the golden eras of bipartisanship After divisive rally, Trump calls for unity MORE (R-Va.) is blasting the GOP's conservative wing as unrealistic, a day after Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew Boehner‘Lone wolf’ characterization of mass murderers is the epitome of white privilege Pelosi urges Ryan to create select committee on gun violence Ex-congressman Michael Grimm formally announces bid for old seat MORE (R-Ohio) announced he would resign from Congress.

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“The tragedy here is that these voices have not been honest with our fellow conservatives. They have not been honest about what can be accomplished when your party controls Congress, but not the White House,” Cantor writes in a New York Times piece published Saturday.

Cantor (R-Va.), who served as majority leader until his stunning defeat in a primary election last year, says conservatives blamed GOP leaders for failing to “enact into law a conservative vision for government, without compromise," instead of President Obama.

“As a result we missed chances to achieve important policies for the good of the country.” 

Boehner stunned Washington on Friday by announcing that he’ll resign from Congress in October. But for his 2014 primary loss, Cantor likely would have been a top contender to succeed Boehner for the speakership.

Furious Boehner allies blame the caucus’ more conservative members for essentially forcing him out after years of putting their agenda above the party’s more realistic goals. 

Cantor says he agrees with conservative Republicans that the party should fight, but argues they should “fight smartly.”

“I have never heard of a football team that won by throwing only Hail Mary passes, yet that is what is being demanded of Republican leaders today. Victory on the field is more often a result of three yards and a cloud of dust,” he writes.

“In politics this means incremental progress, winning hearts and minds before winning the vote — the kind of governance Ronald Reagan perfected.”

Instead of infighting over strategy, Cantor is calling for the party to come together ahead of the 2016 presidential race and “lay out a positive, honest governing platform to take the country forward.”

“This is what my friend John Boehner fought for, and this is what we must continue to fight for to honor his dedication to Congress and the American people,” he says.