House

Cantor: 'Level of craziness' in Washington has increased 'on both sides'

Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Tuesday that the "level of craziness" in Washington has increased "in both parties" while blaming Obama-era tactics for contributing to the political environment.

Cantor made the comments during an appearance on CNN's "New Day" after host Brianna Keilar asked him about former Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) recent comments about "crazy" forces within the GOP.

"Listen, I don't doubt for a second that the level of craziness has increased in Washington over the last few years in both parties," Cantor told Keilar. 

"But certainly, when we were serving back during the Obama administration, there was plenty of indicators that we had an extreme element on both sides of the aisle," he added.

Cantor pointed to the stimulus passed during the Obama administration, which sought to help the country recover following the 2008 financial crisis. 

"One of the things that happened early on in the Obama administration was he laid down the gauntlet with his so-called stimulus bill and drew the party line really brightly, which encouraged some of this backlash on the extreme end of the spectrum on our side and his," Cantor said.

Cantor argued that former President Obama had an "it's my way or the highway" attitude toward working with congressional Republicans. "And from then I think we saw a continued escalation on both sides of the aisle indicating there'd be no compromise," Cantor added.

The former GOP leader also faulted former President Trump for "half-truths and untruths" leading up to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, though he indicated he would consider supporting Trump if he were to run for office again.

Cantor, who lost his seat in the 2014 Republican primary to Tea Party-backed Dave Brat (R-Va.), is now a vice chairman and managing director of Moelis & Company.

The former GOP leader's remarks follow numerous recent media appearances by Boehner to promote his new book, "On the House." Boehner has blamed "crazy" forces for taking over the GOP and conservative media landscape, saying it has given air to some of the worst impulses within the party.

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