Cantor On Gov Shutdown: ‘We Don’t Want To Be Seen As A Bunch Of Yahoos’

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October 4, 2010 12:06 p.m.

Maybe a GOP takeover won’t be as bad as Democrats think — or want you to think.

In an interview with Wall Street Journal economics editor Steve Moore, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor came closer than any Republican leader has thus far to declaring that Republicans will not force a government shutdown if they retake the House next year.

Moore asked Cantor whether Congress and the White House would reach an impasse mirroring the 1995 shutdown. “No,” Cantor said. “I don’t think the country needs or wants a shutdown,” adding that Republicans can avoid that outcome if they “relentlessly make the case for how government overspending and debt are strangling the future competitiveness and growth of this country.”At a recent press conference, Minority Leader John Boehner left the door to a shutdown slightly ajar, when he told reporters “Our goal is to have a smaller, less costly, and more accountable government here in Washington, DC. Our goal is not to shut down the government.”

Cantor says the GOP does plan to chip away at President Obama’s key achievements — like health care and financial reform — if Republicans are in the majority in the 112th Congress. But they will be methodical, and will avoid the sort of slash and burn legislating the conservative base hopes for.

Republicans, he said, “have to be careful about how we do it. We don’t want to be seen as a bunch of yahoos.”

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