House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has canceled a speech he planned to give at the University of Pennsylvania on income inequality, due to the fact that many people who currently earn unequal incomes decided to attend. Because who knows? The subject matter may have been of particular interest to them, or something? Jake Sherman reports for Politico:
The Virginia Republican's speech was preempted by protests from liberal groups and unions, who were set to start demonstrating well before the scheduled 4:30 p,m, start time of Cantor's address.
Cantor's office was told that only the university community would be invited to attend the event, but Capitol Police informed the majority leader's office Thursday night that the first 300 people in line would be allowed in. The Daily Pennsylvanian, the campus paper, reported that protestors were allowed to move from the street onto Penn's campus hours before the speech was slated to begin. The college paper reported that protestors were planning to be there as early as 9 a.m.
According to the report, Cantor had presumed that the speech would be something exclusively for the University of Pennsylvania community -- specifically, as Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring described, "students, faculty, alumni, and other[s]." But according to The Hill, "Cantor's office also said it learned Thursday night that university security planned to allow the first 300 people in line to attend the speech, regardless of affiliation, raising the possibility that Cantor would be addressing a room full of protesters."
The Daily Pennsylvanian reports that events such as these are typically open to the general public:
Penn spokesman Ron Ozio said in a statement that Wharton’s speaker series “is typically open to the general public, and that is how the event with Majority Leader Cantor was billed. We very much regret if there was any misunderstanding with the Majority Leader’s office on the staging of his presentation.”
The statement also said that “Wharton deeply regrets that the event […] has been cancelled. The University community was looking forward to hearing Majority Leader Cantor’s comments on important public issues, and we hope there will be another opportunity for him to speak on campus.”
The speech was to be titled "A Fair Shot at the American Dream and Economic Growth." That's an odd subject to discuss exclusively in front of the University of Pennsylvania community, seeing as the fact that their status as students or alumni or professors at an elite Ivy League institution probably lends them the necessary insight to know they've all essentially received a "fair shot" at the "American dream."
But the ongoing Occupy Philadelphia demonstrations are what tore it for Cantor, who decried the movement at this month's Value Voters Summit. In a speech at that venue, Cantor said that he was growing "increasingly concerned about the growing mobs occupying Wall Street and the other cities across the country. And believe it or not, some in this town have actually condoned the pitting of Americans against Americans." As Jon Stewart of "The Daily Show" pointed out, that's a pretty ironic stance for Cantor to take, given the fact that when the Tea Party was the hot new thing in public protest, Cantor was giddily encouraging "mobs" to "pit themselves against Americans."
At any rate, now nobody gets to hear what this brave man has to say about how to get a fair shot at the American Dream, so you lose again, poors!
UPDATE, 3:47pm: We take that back! Here you can read Eric Cantor's remarks as prepared for delivery. This will definitely become the new version of The Secret.