Cantor: Tea Party is GOP's 'surge protector' against big government

House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorBottom line Virginia GOP candidates for governor gear up for convention Cantor: 'Level of craziness' in Washington has increased 'on both sides' MORE (R-Va.) credited Tea Party activists with refocusing GOP attention on an expanding federal government, calling the grassroots movement a “surge protector.”

Speaking at an event in San Diego, Calif., on Monday, Cantor said that Tea Party voters propelled Republicans to majority status in the House last year, as a way to prevent the “surge” of federal government under a Democratic-controlled White House and Congress.


“The reality is: taxed enough already,” Cantor told an audience of employees at Qualcomm, which he dubbed one of the nation’s “innovation anchors.”

“The Tea Party, they’ve been a tremendous influence, frankly, in letting us focus on the fiscal issues and helping us focus on the surge in the size and reach of the federal government — into way too many aspects of our economy and our lives,” Cantor said.

Asked if House Republicans and President Obama could find areas of compromise as they move toward a vote on raising the nation’s debt limit, Cantor cited some areas of agreement.

Cantor said he thinks the president “believes we have to cut spending. The question is how much and how soon — that’s the point of disagreement.”

Cantor said he’s hopeful that "free trade" will provide another area for compromise, but that the administration hasn’t moved on it yet.

In the nearly 30-minute speech, streamed live via, Cantor discussed ways to reform government to foster entrepreneurialism. He mentioned corporate tax reform, repatriation of corporate money, free trade and the reduction of regulatory burdens.