House majority leader Eric Cantor had his campaign breakfast this morning at the Richmond Convention Center that managed to draw not only a large crowd (1,700 folks) but also a large number of Republican legislators, party leaders and groups. Even Richmond’s mayor, Democrat Dwight Jones, was in attendance.
But the larger stars of the event were Senate candidate George Allen, who served as the event’s emcee, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Cantor made a few remarks, talking about idealists need to transition to realists in order to “get things done.” He also highlighted the JOBS Act as a way to reduce red tape so that start-ups can “have a fighting chance to make it.” What got more attention from the crowd, though, was his statement that he intends to follow up this package of bills with a measure that would cut small business taxes by 20 percent, something Cantor says will provide “money to the bottom line” of every small business in the nation.
Then it was Rubio’s turn and almost immediately, he made the event’s biggest news.
While bemoaning the Senate’s unwillingness to follow-up on any of the economic measures the House had passed (Rubio said of the Senate “we don’t do anything over there.”), he made what seemed to me, and others, like an endorsement of George Allen.
Perhaps he was just being polite to his hosts. But I think not. Rubio praised Allen’s abilities, his outlook and his policy stands. He said that Virginia has the opportunity to give Republicans that 51st vote that will allow them to take control of the Senate, select a majority leader and control the flow of business in the chamber.
And the man who could make all that possible? George Allen.
It’s not the sort of news Rubio — tea party darling that he is (or was) — likely intended to make, but he did.