One possible interpretation of Cantor's pullout was that he needed Boehner's authority to negotiate revenue increases necessary to complete a far-reaching deal with Democrats, but Boehner made repeatedly clear on Thursday that he had not budged at all on the issue.
"Tax hikes are off the table," he said. "First of all, raising taxes is going to destroy jobs....second, a tax hike cannot pass the US House of Representatives -- it's not just a bad idea, it doesn't have the votes and it can't happen. And third, the American people don't want us to raise taxes. They know we have a spending problem."
A Senior Democratic aide suggested to TPM earlier that Cantor "threw Boehner under the bus" by calling on him to leap into talks, keeping his own hands clean of any tax increases unpopular with the GOP base.
Pushing back on the notion, a senior GOP aide told TPM in an e-mail that the "White House has secretly been negotiating with Senior Republicans behind the Democrat Leaders backs, so it is understandable they don't understand the dynamic at play."