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Cantor among GOP at Democratic National Convention in Denver
Cantor among GOP at Democratic convention

 Republican Rep. Eric Cantor, of Virginia's 7th Congressional District.
file/REZA MARVASHTI/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 8/27/2008

BY CHELYEN DAVIS

RICHMOND

--In addition to an estimated 6,000 delegates and 15,000 media, the Democratic National Convention in Denver this week has also attracted Republicans--including Rep. Eric Cantor, a Virginia congressman.

Cantor is among a list of Republican officials in Denver to counter the Democratic message with their own.

"I'm part of the John McCain truth squad here in Denver," Cantor said in a conference call with Virginia reporters yesterday. "The purpose of my being here is to try to cut through the glitz and glamour of Barack Obama and his celebrity, and focus on his record."

Cantor and other Republicans, such as former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, are doing that through press interviews and press conferences, contrasting the record and policies of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama with those of Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain.

Cantor said he'd done a series of radio interviews yesterday morning--passing Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine on the way.

Cantor, Romney and other Republicans held a news conference yesterday afternoon to push the message that the Democratic convention isn't as unified behind Obama as Democrats would like viewers to believe.

"There is a significant undertone of division here," Cantor said in the call.

Cantor said he believes the race in Virginia is viewed as close because the state has many new voters, particularly in the fast-growing Northern Virginia area. But that doesn't mean they'll be Obama voters, he said, and he expects to see McCain put resources into the state to keep it in his column.

Cantor, a deputy whip in the House of Representatives and the only Jewish Republican currently in the House, has been mentioned as a possible vice-presidential candidate for McCain.

McCain hasn't announced his choice yet, although he's likely to by the end of this week.

Cantor brushed aside questions about that in yesterday's call.

"The decision will be up to John McCain," Cantor said. "He will make it in a time that fits his notions of when it should be made, and I know John McCain's track record of judgment, it will be a decision that will benefit not only his administration but also benefit our country."

Cantor said he was invited to Denver by the McCain campaign, and he planned to return to Richmond last night. Other Republicans will continue to push their message in Denver for the last two days of the convention.

Republicans are holding their own convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., next week.

Chelyen Davis: 804/782-9362
Email: cdavis@freelancestar.com