Cantor withholds judgment on McAllister

Greg Nash

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Tuesday that Rep. Vance McAllister’s constituents “deserve an apology” after the Republican freshman was caught on video kissing a staffer outside his district office.

ADVERTISEMENT
“I think that his constituents deserve an apology. I’m glad he issued an apology,” Cantor told reporters after a Republican conference meeting.

He did not respond directly when asked if McAllister (La.) should resign. “I have not had a chance to speak to the congressman, so I am going to reserve further judgment on your question,” Cantor replied. “I will say that the American people deserve all of their representatives here in Washington to hold to a very high standard of behavior.”

McAllister, who took office in December after winning a special election, issued a statement on Monday saying he was “asking for forgiveness” after The Ouachita Citizen, a local newspaper, posted the security camera footage on its website showing the congressman, a conservative who is married with children, in a passionate embrace with his scheduler. The newspaper said it was given the video by an anonymous source.

McAllister told another local newspaper that he planned to run for reelection in November “unless there is an outcry for me not to serve, and so far, there has been an outpouring of support, not for my actions, but for me to continue to represent the people.”

— Rebecca Shabad contributed.