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Cantor says debate over Warren Buffett’s secretary will ‘play out this election’

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Wednesday that Warren Buffett's secretary will be one of the defining topics of the 2012 election.

"The issue I think that's going to play out this election is that question of Warren Buffett's secretary," he said on CNN. 

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The billionaire investor's secretary, Debbie Bosanek, attended President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday night, seated next to first lady Michelle Obama. The president referred to her in his speech as part of his call to impose a higher tax on the wealthiest Americans.

"If you look at the issue through her eyes, we want her to make more money, we want her to have more hope in the future," Cantor said. "But the answer is not to make sure that Washington taxes people more. This notion that somehow the income that Warren Buffett makes is the same as a wage income for his secretary, we know that's not the same either."

Cantor referred to the ongoing argument about the capital gains tax. Profit from investments, which makes up much of Buffett's income, is taxed at a lower rate, 15 percent, than the average income tax. 

"We all want to make sure that there's a better direction, more hope for the future for everybody," Cantor said. His comments suggested that Republicans and Democrats have irreconcilable ways of going about that goal.

“There are a lot of serious issues that unfortunately the White House and we see very differently on and has to do with the frustration across the country," he said in another interview on CBS.