Just two weeks after denouncing economic-justice protesters as an angry “mob,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) seemed to be shifting gears. Last Sunday, Cantor acknowledged the “warranted" frustrations of the middle class, and this week, was even poised to deliver a speech on economic inequality.
As it turns out, Cantor changed his mind. Yesterday, the oft-confused Majority Leader abruptly canceled, saying the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School invited the public to attend the speech, which meant Cantor would refuse to appear. The Republican appears to have been fibbing - university officials explained that the event had always been billed as “open to the general public,” and that Cantor’s accusation of a last-minute change in attendance policy simply wasn’t true.
That Cantor was afraid to talk about economic inequalities in front of the public is pretty ridiculous. That Cantor is making dishonest excuses makes matters slightly worse.
Emphasis mine. Why would Cantor not want to speak in front of the public? The school also notified him that protesters would be present. Either reason is not a good one for cancelling a speech. Citing the public being allowed to attend is just somewhat offensive. Looking at the text of his speech, it wasn’t anything new. For example, Cantor’s planned remarks included this gem:
It is this foundation — hard work, faith, family, and opportunity — that provides each of us with the prospects of unlimited potential in America. Each generation is able to get a little further ahead, climbing up the ladder of success in our society. How quickly you move up – or sometimes down – should be completely up to you. Much of the conversation in the current political debate today has been focused on fairness in our society. Republicans believe that what is fair is a hand up, not a hand out. We know that we all don’t begin life’s race from the same starting point. I was fortunate enough to be born into a stable family that provided me with the tools that I needed to get ahead. Not everyone is so lucky.
Read the full speech here. He includes nothing about how to give a “hand up” as he puts it, but who’s shocked that he did not address income inequality in a speech about income inequality, eh? …Anyone?