Cantor Conquerer Caught Off Guard By Policy Questions In Interview

Dave Brat, right, is congratulated by Johnny Wetlaufer after Brat defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the Republican primary, Tuesday, June 10, 2014, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, P. Kevin Morley)
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David Brat, who defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) in the Republican primary for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, was surprised when he appeared on MSNBC on Wednesday that he would be asked policy questions.

In his interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd Brat punted when Todd asked him both about the minimum wage and Syria.

“Let me ask you a few other issue questions. Where are you on the minimum wage? Do you believe in it and would you raise it?” Todd asked.

“Minimum wage, no, I’m a free market guy,” Brat responded. “Our labor markets right now are already distorted from too many regulations. I think Cato estimates there’s $2 trillion of regulatory problems and then throw Obamacare on top of that, the work hours is 30 hours a week. You can only hire 50 people. There’s just distortion after distortion after distortion and we wonder why our labor markets are broken.”

Todd then pressed Brat on the question.

“Um, I don’t have a well-crafted response on that one,” Brat finally conceded. “All I know is if you take the long-run graph over 200 years of the wage rate, it cannot differ from your nation’s productivity. Right? So you can’t make up wage rates.”

The exchange was pretty similar when Brat was asked about arming Syrian rebels.

“On a foreign policy issue, arming the Syrian rebels. Would you be in favor of that?” Todd asked.

“Hey, Chuck, I thought we were just going to chat today about the celebratory aspects,” Brat said. “I’d love to go through all of this but my mind is — I love all the policy questions but I just wanted to talk about the victory ahead and I wanted to thank everybody that worked so hard on my campaign. I’m happy to take policy issues at any time, I just wanted to call out a thanks to everybody today.”

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