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Posted on on November 19th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (

The Economist will hold in New York City – December 2-4, 2010 its WORLD IN 2011 FESTIVAL – this in parallel with its end of the year special publication in print.

To get an appropriate excerpt from the previous such event – held last year in Washington DC as the 2010 Festival – we bring here two comments we found that relate to GOP Congressman Eric Cantor, then in the opposition, and his thoughts about jobs. Surely, he had no great impact on the 2010 year, but God knows what he will do now as leader in the 2011 year and beyond.

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Cantor Can’t Name A Single GOP ‘Big Idea’ On Job Creation

Today, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) appeared at the Economist’s World in 2010 conference (attended by ThinkProgress), where he took exception to NBC’s David Gregory characterizing Republicans as “not really a party of ideas, because they don’t want to be.” Cantor claimed that it’s actually the media’s fault that no one hears about Republican ideas, because “it’s not as sexy of a story to cover our ideas right now.” But when the Economist’s Daniel Franklin gave Cantor an opportunity to present his big idea for job creation, Cantor couldn’t come through:

FRANKLIN: What is the big idea? “Jobs” is not an idea.

CANTOR: The big idea is to get, to get, to produce an environment where we can have job creation again. And see, that’s where the Obama administration’s agenda so clearly disadvantages the Democrats in this upcoming election in eleven months and advantages us.


Steve Benen , Washington Monthly at 7:25 AM on December 8, 2009.

Eric Cantor on How to Create More Jobs: Umm…Create More Jobs!

ERIC CANTOR, POST TURTLE…. House Minority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) visited the conservative Heritage Foundation last week to unveil what he called “a no-cost jobs plan.” Andrew Leonard summarized the pitch: “Cut regulations. Freeze spending. Cut taxes. No new taxes. That’s the plan.”

It was, of course, the Bush/Cheney agenda — which helped get us in this mess in the first place — warmed over.

A week later, Cantor appeared at the Economist’s World in 2010 conference. The frequently-confused GOP leader said his party has plenty of important “big ideas” and policy proposals. The Economist‘s Daniel Franklin asked Cantor to identify the Republicans’ big idea on jobs. Pat Garofalo reports that Cantor couldn’t think of anything specific.

FRANKLIN: What is the big idea? “Jobs” is not an idea.

CANTOR: The big idea is to get, to get, to produce an environment where we can have job creation again.

I almost feel bad for the guy. Cantor was elected to Congress before he was able to learn anything about public policy, and was put in the GOP leadership before he could speak intelligently about any issue.

Eric Cantor as a congressional leader is a classic example of a post turtle — you know he didn’t get up there by himself; he obviously doesn’t belong up there; he can’t get anything done while he’s there; and you just want to help the poor, dumb thing down.

His “big idea” is an economic environment in which the employment marketplace improves from the recession’s lows? That sounds an awful lot like the stimulus package — which Cantor rejected and continues to trash — which has created as many as 1.6 million jobs in less than a year.

There are conservative policy proposals related to job creation. Eric Cantor can’t think of any. Better opposition, please.

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