Rep. Eric Cantor, in line to become the next House majority leader after a huge Election Day victory for Republicans, offered a more measured take on GOP triumph hours after pledging to bring a repeal of health care reform to a vote
"There isn't a lot of confidence focused on the Republicans yet. And in fact, last night's results are indicative that people in this country just are outright rejecting the agenda of the Obama administration. It isn't necessarily a vote of confidence for Republican leadership," Cantor, R-Va., said on CBS' "The Early Show" Wednesday. "So, we've got a job to do. We've been given a second chance and a golden opportunity to prove that we, as Republicans, are committed to a constitutionally limited government." (See video below).
Cantor said Republicans still "want to repeal health care," but said biggest priority for the GOP-controlled House will be jobs.
"The people of this country spoke out loudly, clearly last night and what they said is they want a government that starts to listen to them again. And the first order of business has got to be a Congress that focuses on the number one priority, which is more jobs for more Americans."
Interviewed by CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric after the Republicans wrested dozens of House seats from Democrats, Cantor said he hopes "we're able to put a repeal bill on the floor right away because that's what the American people want. They understand that this bill is going to bankrupt this country and take away the health care that they -- most people in this country -- know and like."
But according to a CBS News exit poll, there is little case to be made for a mandate to repeal health care reform - 48 percent of Americans are in favor of scrapping the recently passed legislation, but 47 percent wanted to leave it as is or in fact expand it.
On "The Early Show," Cantor also talked about the importance of restoring "fiscal discipline" to Washington.
"I think what you'll see out of a Republican-led House is a regular diet, every week, of bringing bills to the floor that actually begin to cut the federal deficit."