06/15/2014 10:06 am ET Updated Jun 16, 2014

Eric Cantor Has No Regrets Following Primary Election Loss

WASHINGTON -- House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who lost his Republican primary last week in a surprise upset by economics professor Dave Brat, said Sunday he has no regrets about his campaign or time in office. Now, Cantor said, he just wants to move forward.

"I don't have any regrets, because I remain focused on the mission that I'm about," Cantor told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union."

Cantor will step down as majority leader at the end of July, and serve out the rest of his congressional term outside of a leadership role. He said on "State of the Union" that he had not yet determined what he will do next.

He did say, though, that he will vote for Brat in the upcoming general election.

"I want a Republican to hold this seat, of course," he said.

Bash asked Cantor about comments by his pollster, John McLaughlin, whose surveys predicted a win for the majority leader. McLaughlin told CNN in a memo that he believes Cantor lost because thousands of Democrats voted in the Republican primary.

"I'm looking forward," Cantor said. "A lot of folks are going to be interested in that, but to me, the problems that people in this country are facing are a lot greater than any kind of setback -- political setback, personal setback -- that I've got, so I really am very focused on continuing on the mission that I've tried to be about here in Washington. It's those reform conservative solutions that actually can be applied to people's problems in the working middle class in this country and for everyone."

The majority leader said he did not think there was any one thing that led to his loss. He stands behind his statements in opposition to comprehensive immigration reform, he added, but still supports legal status for young undocumented immigrations who came to the U.S. as children. Immigration became a focus of Cantor and Brat's campaigns in the final weeks before the election.

"It did, I'm sure, aggravate people on both sides of the issue, but it is the principled position that I've taken and I believe it's the right one," he said.

Cantor is the sole Jewish Republican in the House of Representatives, and Bash asked whether his loss could be partially attributed to anti-semitism.

"I don't ever want to impute that to anybody," Cantor said.



Eric Cantor