POLITICS

Eric Cantor Calls Obama's Middle East Policy 'Naive,' Stops Short Of Calling Him A 'Domestic Enemy'

07/04/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) stopped short on Tuesday of agreeing that President Obama should be "defined as a domestic enemy" for his approach to national security.

Cantor was asked the question after he delivered a national security speech at the Heritage Foundation's "President's Club Meeting" in which he advocated for a "peace through strength" approach to foreign affairs and criticized Obama's "naive" practice of "apologizing to the Arab world" and pursuing engagement with Iran.

Here's the transcript of the exchange, provided by Think Progress:

QUESTION: My question is - and this is something I personally don't understand - if it's a naive question then I apologize: in light of what Obama has done to leave us vulnerable, to cut defense spending, to make us vulnerable to outside enemies, and to slight our allies, how (pause) - what would he have to do differently to be defined as a domestic enemy? (applause)

CANTOR: Listen, let me respond very forthright to that: you know, no one thinks the President is a domestic enemy. (boos)

Cantor continued:

"It is important for us to remember, we have the freedom of discourse in this country and the President's policies, the Administration's priorities, in my opinion, do not reflect the majority of this country, do not reflect the commonsense conservative traditions upon which the greatness of this nation was built."

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