Republicans spent Sunday gloating over their Election Day win on the morning talk shows, with former U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia saying Democrats have no bench, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker saying governors make better presidents than do legislators, and Sen.-elect Cory Gardner of Colorado saying the election should have taught both parties a lesson. Meanwhile, Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., countered by saying it was the infighting within the Republican party that brought the 113th Congress to a standstill.
Cantor, appearing on NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” said the Democratic party is out of ideas, and indications Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to seek the 2016 presidential nomination has kept other candidates from coming forward. He predicted the former secretary of state would have a hard time distancing herself from administration policies.
Cantor, who lost a Virginia primary election for his congressional seat in June and resigned in August, said the plethora of would-be GOP presidential candidates bodes well for his party. “I bet there’s a dozen people out there looking to run,” Cantor said.
Walker, who is eyed as one of those dozen, advised Republican hopefuls to campaign as Washington outsiders if they hope to win and said the party would be better off looking to the nation’s statehouses for a standard-bearer than to Congress.
“We need something fresh, organic, from the bottom-up, and that’s what you get in the states,” Walker said on “Meet the Press.”
Gardner, who defeated incumbent Democrat Mark Udall to help give Republicans control of the Senate, said reducing the dysfunction in Washington would benefit the GOP, but also urged fellow Republicans to govern “with maturity,” working with Democrats. “Let’s show that we can do it with Republicans and Democrats, and prove to the American people that Washington learned its lesson,” he said on ABC News’ “This Week.”
Gardner called the idea of fully repealing health-care reform a fantasy, but added that parts of it need to be repealed and replaced, including the medical-device tax, the Independent Payment Advisory Board and a provision that considers those working 30 hours a week full-time employees.
On the Democratic side, Coons called out House Speaker John Boehner, saying the Ohio Republican wasn’t able to bring his caucus into line. Coons, appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” said he hopes incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has better luck.