Cantor: Jeb had ‘a tough night’
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Former House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorConservative House Republican welcomes Clark as chief of US Chamber Former House GOP leader: Fear of telling 'truth' to voters led to Capitol riot Biden faces tall order in uniting polarized nation MORE (R-Va.) said Thursday that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush struggled during the GOP’s third presidential debate the night before.

“It was a tough night,” Cantor, who has endorsed Bush, repeatedly said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” when asked about his performance.

Bush sparred heavily Wednesday with his former protege and fellow Floridian Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioDeSantis derides 'failed Republican establishment' at CPAC The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Divided House on full display Mehdi Hasan gets MSNBC Sunday prime-time show MORE, repeatedly failing to land blows on his attendance record.

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Cantor argued, however, that rumors of Bush’s demise are greatly exaggerated.

“I don’t know if I’m buying into all the breathlessness about it,” he said. “You don’t win or lose an election in one debate.”

“This is about staying power,” the former lawmaker added. “Washington, D.C., is a mess right now. Jeb Bush is the only one with the resume and the know-how to really take care of that mess.”

Cantor also alluded to Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanCruz hires Trump campaign press aide as communications director Bottom line Ex-Trump chief of staff Priebus mulling Wisconsin governor bid MORE's (R-Wis.) looming vote to become the next Speaker of the House.

“He’s a wonk,” he said of Ryan. “There’s a lot he wants to do.”

“I’m not sure how much is going to change as results are concerned,” Cantor added, citing President Obama and the “paralysis” of Congress overall. “Paul is at least going to set the table for discussions we’re having in 2016.”

Ryan accepted the GOP conference’s nomination for the Speakership position during a vote Wednesday afternoon.