ERIC THE READY
On the call, according to another member, Cantor apologized for the two economic bailout votes that were forced on some Republicans after the initial vote failed to gain passage. "He said the bailout bill and the votes were a mistake," a third member said. "He was apologetic about it, which was no big deal to me, I didn't vote for it. I thought he was wrong. I wish he'd call the folks who are losing right now. That's what a leader would do."
Cantor, a favorite among some conservatives, as well as what's left of the pro-Republican lobbying community in Washington, is expected to challenge either House minority leader John Boehner or whip Roy Blunt. Boehner is expected to seek another term as leader. Blunt has been less clear on his intentions. Blunt took a beating for his role in the economic bailout bill, a piece of legislation that was not popular with many House Republicans and less popular with Republican voters.
Cantor, however, has failed to distinguish himself with many House Republicans. He angered a number of members after the first bailout bill failed , by claiming the vote had nothing to do with principled objections to the bill, and more to do with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's floor remarks before the vote.
Cantor, as well, is known inside the Republican caucus for playing it safe on both policy and floor politics, something some Republicans don't believe the party can afford to do given the last two election cycles.