Now that former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) is free of the constraints of serving in Congress, he can speak openly about how “awesome” he thinks Vice President Joe Biden is.
“I’m certainly not one who agrees with Joe Biden on all things—we probably disagree more than we agree—but from a human and relationship standpoint, the guy’s awesome,” Cantor said in an interview with Time magazine published Wednesday.
“Joe Biden is what you see. You know, he’s genuine,” he added. “Yes, he’s prone to gaffes publicly, and he’ll admit that. He’s very self-deprecating like that.”
Cantor praised Biden’s facility for negotiating with the opposing party during the 2011 debt ceiling talks, suggesting that the vice president could be the new GOP congressional majority’s go-to guy in the White House when it comes time to bargain.
“That’s one of the striking differences between the President and Vice President,” he told Time. “The President has not spent the time necessary even while he’s been in office the last six years, much less before, developing, nurturing relationships and understanding people’s thinking. And that is a huge impediment to the President’s ability to do a deal, whereas I think Joe Biden has been schooled in that way.”
The former majority leader also said he’s stayed in touch with Biden. Cantor said last week that while he received a call from the vice president after losing his primary race, he never heard a peep from Obama.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.