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Monday, March 25, 2019

No Republicans In Sight — Eric Cantor Ditches March On Washington Ceremony To Meet With Oil Lobbyists

No Republicans In Sight — Eric Cantor Ditches March On Washington Ceremony To Meet With Oil Lobbyists

President Obama, former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, and dozens of political and social leaders joined a crowd of thousands at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday to honor the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Among the thousands of people at the event, however, there was not a single Republican elected official in attendance.

Former Republican presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush did not attend because of medical issues, but both issued individual statements honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

The House’s two most senior Republicans, Speaker John Boehner (OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA) were also noticeably missing from the ceremony.

A spokesman for Boehner told MSNBC that the Speaker “was invited, but spoke at the congressional ceremony instead” – an event especially for lawmakers that occurred on July 31. According to his spokesman, Boehner was participating in “unofficial duties” on Wednesday.

Representative Cantor’s absence was more surprising.

Cantor was asked to speak at the event 12 days earlier, but declined because he was already “scheduled to be in North Dakota and Ohio on Wednesday.” His aides told MSNBC that Cantor tried to find another Republican official to take his place, but was unsuccessful.

Cantor’s decision not to attend is striking, given that he has spent months pushing for the GOP to improve its outreach to minorities. In February, Cantor delivered a speech outlining proposals to broaden his party’s appeal. Also in February, he traveled to Alabama with Representative John Lewis (D-GA) — who spoke at the March on Washington ceremony — on an annual civil rights pilgrimage to Selma, Alabama. During the past several weeks, Cantor has spent much time “publicly reflecting on the experience of traveling” to Alabama with Lewis, and also vowed he would work to pass a rewrite of the Voting Rights Act in Congress.

And, just this week, Cantor wrote a piece for Yahoo! News about the “legacy of the civil rights movement.”

But instead of celebrating that legacy on Wednesday, the majority leader was in North Dakota and Ohio — not on official duty, but rather touring energy sites with fellow Republican Representative Kevin Cramer (ND).

In a move that didn’t look so great for the Republican Party, Cantor spent Wednesday meeting with members of the North Dakota Petroleum Council – a lobby group comprised of CEOs known for donating millions of dollars to GOP SuperPACs. Cantor himself has received over $600,000 from the oil and gas industry.

On Thursday morning, Cantor took to Twitter to address his oil tour and criticize Obama, writing: “Visited North Dakota yesterday and saw firsthand their incredible jobs and energy story. President Obama should visit and see for himself.”

As Cantor rebuked Obama over Twitter, other Republicans — and, of course, Fox News — cried that the GOP was intentionally excluded from Wednesday’s event. On Fox News’ On the Record, Greta Van Susteren acknowledged that several Republicans, such as Boehner and Cantor, were invited to the ceremony, but asked why the only African-American Republican senator, Tim Scott (SC), was not. As she spoke, Fox ran a banner on the bottom of the screen announcing that the “black GOP senator” was “snubbed at [the] MLK anniversary.”

However, an email exchange obtained by Roll Call shows that all members of Congress were invited to the ceremony. Scott was, in fact, invited to the event, but his office declined, saying that the congressman already had plans in South Carolina on Wednesday.

This means that every single one of the 279 Republicans in Congress declined to attend.

As the nation’s voting demographics continue to change, the GOP is not doing much to gain favor among minority groups, despite members’ supposed efforts to bring reform to the troubled party. Wednesday’s mass no-show may have done even more damage. As renowned civil rights activist and former chairman of the NAACP Julian Bond said: “That they would turn their backs on this event was telling of them, and the fact that they seem to want to get black votes, they’re not going to get them this way.”

Photo: Gage Skidmore via

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73 responses to “No Republicans In Sight — Eric Cantor Ditches March On Washington Ceremony To Meet With Oil Lobbyists”

  1. gmccpa says:

    How’s that minority outreach going?

  2. tiredofitall says:

    Let’s just let it go. We know that the old GOP leaders are white and racist and the young ones are trying to join the 1% who never had to work for it or earn it, they were simply given it…. Bring back the real death tax, raise the taxes on the wealthy, dump the loopholes, make corporations pay the full rates and don’t allow deductions or political donations from their CEO>>>>

    • midway54 says:

      Agreed, but your use of the “death tax” was a label that the plutocrats framed for the rednecks and yahoos who cheer them. The idea was to get this crowd of ignoramuses to foam at the mouth and squall that “them libruls even tax death itself” and to vote for rightwing stooges. Of course, it is an estate tax but one that few in the populace are required to pay….including the said rednecks, yahoos, and other forms of dupe.

      • ralphkr says:

        Really, midway54, very few have had to pay “estate tax”? When my father died a lawyer showed up to evaluate the estate. The lawyer drew his normal hourly pay and also collected 10% of the estate. Actually it was 20% since it was a community property state so only half of it was my fathers. What a racket, picks up a bank book that shows $10,000 and the lawyer gets $1,000 for writing it down. We also had to pay for a real estate appraiser and for a household appraiser (guess who got 10% of the total value of all property). The federal tax was a little over $15,000 (I don’t recall what the state tax was) on an estate valued at under $500,000.

        • BigPoppaJumbo says:

          Brilliant analysis of your own family situation. Pitiful attempt to turn that into a policy discussion. Who knows what your facts are? Uhhh, maybe…you?

          • ralphkr says:

            Interesting mumbling from you, BigPoppaJumbo, but I am wondering just what you find so offensive in my post. Midway54 stated that very few had to pay and I merely pointed out that my family had to pay a healthy chunk and also what a racket the whole process was even though the estate was very modest. The estate tax laws, both fed & state, change from time to time. At one time to have over $10,000 would trigger tax and at another time it had to exceed $8 million and there is nothing to say that it cannot be changed back to an extremely low figure.

            Death taxes can be devastating to a family. I knew someone who owned 3 new car dealerships, some vacant property in downtown, and a ranch. Since the majority of his estate was in real property with very little cash such as bank accounts the family had to sell much of the property at well below book value to pay the death tax.

          • Lee Sterne says:

            And what have the payments to appraisers and attorneys to do with Taxes?

          • ralphkr says:

            Just stop and think, Lee. Without the Death Tax there would have been no need for attorneys and appraisers to determine the value of the estate and, hence, the amount of tax owed.

          • CPAinNewYork says:

            It’s all cash outlay, dumbo.

          • BigPoppaJumbo says:

            Look at your second sentence. The point that you had to pay something does not change the policy issue. We know some people pay estate tax. Are you just moaning your personal issue in a policy discussion. And if I was just mumbling, why did you find it interesting? Why do you keep bringing up your little renditions of individual cases in a policy discussion? You prove little to nothing with your limited little stories – no one is beholden to your “facts” or “case histories”. Their accuracy is undetermined, and so therefore is your argument. Still sound like a mumble?

          • ralphkr says:

            Sorry, BigPoppaJumbo, but it wasn’t so much that I actually found your mumbling frightfully interesting but I thought that stating it that would be more polite than stating that I found your post extemely stupid. As far as who knows the facts…well, anyone who read my post knows the facts concerning my father’s estate (unless they are severely mentally challenged) and, if they have any common sense, realize that the statement that “very few pay” was not true throughout US history and can change at any time. And yes, your post still sounds like something from a typical “Don’t Confuse the Issue with Facts” conservative.

        • midway54 says:

          I was speaking about the Federal Estate Tax involving multimillions. I believe that the exemption on the estate is currently $5 million. I assume some, if not all, states have their own versions of the estate taxes. One of the arguments offered by those who support the Federal tax is that estates of these values affect comparatively few citizens, and it is obviously correct.

          • ralphkr says:

            The problem with that is that right now the death tax effects relatively few BUT there is nothing to keep them from changing the limit $10K. By the way, the truly wealthy do not pay an estate tax because they have expensive lawyers and accountants who know how to thwart the tax man…can you say “Charitable Trust Fund?” & still give heirs an income for life.

          • midway54 says:

            I cannot dispute what you say about the potential for changes, etc.because who can say what future Congresses may do in the future concerning this subject. Until then, however, it is a fact that comparatively few are subject to the tax. As to legal and CPA escape mechanisms rewarded with high fees, they are indeed in play in all areas of the tax code, but closing loopholes is not an objective of most Congresses thanks to the lobbyists’ generosity on behalf of their principals.

          • Lee Sterne says:

            During the last 30 years, the rich have been getting richer and the rest of us, poorer. Unless we want a country where the only people who can afford a college education are those who’re going to be rich enough so that they have no need to work, something has to be done to change this.
            A good beginning would be eliminating the unjustifiable “earned income” tax benefit given to Hedge Fund operators. Another would be for CEO pay to be brought down to sensible levels: it used to be about 8 times the average worker’s pay, now its up to about 400 times.
            And of course we have to get rid of the incentives corporations have for hiring part time workers over full time, and the minimum wage should be at least a living wage.
            We should also eliminate the income tax “deductions” and replace them (if we must) with “credits” so that a $1000 deduction would not be worth more to a higher income earner than to a lower, and eliminate the “cap” on income taxed for Social Security.
            But eliminate the Estate Tax? NO: given the present inequity in everything else, it needs to be higher, not lower.

        • CPAinNewYork says:

          You didn’t have to pay a lawyer anything. Your father should have named one of you as the executor of the will.

          Better yet, he should have set up living trusts, to avoid probate.

          • ralphkr says:

            Well, CPAinNewYork, all that is true today and by the time my mother died much of her assets were in a living trust BUT the laws had greatly changed after my father died. At the time of my father’s death no one other than multimillionaires had trusts and those were non-revocable trusts so there would be no death taxes. Probate is no longer required in that state nor the mandatory 10% charge nor any death taxes either Fed (under $2million estate) or State (any size estate). My father had named my mother as executor of his will with me as surviving executor but at the time of my father’s death the law required that the state assign a lawyer to oversee the appraisal of the estate, collect the 10% fee plus costs (hourly rate & appraiser charges). Rules such as this are to be expected when the government is run by lawyers and insurance companies. The best thing was that I did not have to change the house title from my mother’s name to mine but was able to leave it in the trust until I sold it to the son of a friend 3 years later.

          • CPAinNewYork says:

            I’m sorry that your parents died in a state run by lawyers and insurance companies. Sounds like something that Florida would do.

            Are you sure that the state REQUIRED that you hire a lawyer? That seems like something over the top.

          • ralphkr says:

            Actually, CPA, the state gave us the choice of either accepting whatever person they sent to handle the estate or we could choose a lawyer whom we knew and that would be acceptable to the state. We chose the family lawyer who did all he could to decide things in our favor.

      • says:

        Federal inheritance taxes do not kick in until something like 2 million dollars and there are many exemptions.
        Does anyone know that Mitt Romney set up trust accounts for each of his five sons in the amount of $ 100 million each ??

        • ralphkr says:

          Did you know that Romney did not pay taxes on the $500 million because of a loop hole in the tax code nor will his sons have to pay taxes on the principal…just pay taxes on the income. That is the big advantage that the uber-wealthy have over the middle class. The can afford the cost of lawyers and accountants to avoid taxes while it would cost us more for the lawyers & accountants than we would save in taxes..

          • tax payer says:

            You pay taxes, if you win the Lottery and after that you have to pay taxes, when you give some of that money taxed already to someone else; if it’s over $13,000.00 or more. Double Taxation by our Government should come to an end. Same as someone that’s rich giving to their own family members and having to pay more taxes since that money has already been taxed before. This is Plain Robbery by our own Government and it has to come to an end.

          • ralphkr says:

            You forgot to mention, tax payer, that if you exceed a certain amount in gifts that not only do you have to pay income tax on the gift but the recipient must also pay income tax. This came home to me when I was going to give an interest free loan to fatten her down payment to my oldest daughter when she was buying her first house. The bank insisted that I send them a letter stating that the money was an outright gift which would have triggered both of us paying income tax. That demand plus other unwarranted questions by the bank such as where on earth had my daughter acquired her money (an extremely stupid question as she had been getting well over $20 an hour for a number of years in the 1970s) that had been deposited in the bank over the years ticked me off so I closed some accounts and paid cash for the house and set up the paper work showing that I held a mortgage on the place. She did pay it of plus 10% interest in about 10 years. So the bank lost making their 13% mortgage due to their attitude.

            I’ll give another example of double taxation. I was fortunate to have been forced to retire when they no longer taxed 100% of your retirement stipend. Our gross pay, including the 8% we paid into retirement fund, had been taxed by feds & state and, at one time, 100% of our retirement pay was subject to tax (this is comparable to having to pay income tax on money you withdraw from your bank account) but the law was finally changed so we did not have to pay income tax on the money that we had contributed to the fund.

            Only we peons have to pay double taxes since the uber-rich can buy expensive lawyers, accountants, and Congressmen to get exemption from taxes.

          • tax payer says:

            One way to not have them pay taxes is to put the money in the bank and take out a Debit Card, and take the money out yourself as it’s needed by the recipient. Banks will let the IRS know, if you deposit more than ten thousand dollars in the bank, ( it may be more by now ), so giving a Gift is hard to do because of the Double Taxation and it needs to be done away with by the IRS.

    • says:

      Boy you gave it all in one short nutshell. From your lips to God’s ears.

  3. Buford2k11 says:

    Hey, he knows which side his bread is buttered on…

  4. docb says:

    One more very public unwise move by the repub baggers to insult a whole voting block. All invited and not one shows up and the leaders are fundraising and entertaining Corporate Welfare donors. Shameless

    There should be a high level of shame and accountability to this rude move. That ‘autopsy’ is really working for the Gop.

    • disqus_LcxpBv2uzz says:

      Unfortunately, these people have no shame. Fortunately, these people are so stupid/thoughtless/entitled that most thinking folks can see them for what they really are. To mix metaphors, I think that when their chickens come home to roost, the shit’s gonna hit the fan!

  5. Dominick Vila says:

    One of the most fascinating aspects of the alleged GOP strategy to attract ethnic minorities is the way they disparage minorities. The answer to the rhetorical question asked in this article is that Republican leaders were conspicuous by their absence during the recent celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the March, one of the most transformational moments in American modern history.
    The reason most ethnic minorities, women, gays, and students don’t vote Republican is not because minorities are lazy or evil, but because of the policies and actions that have been the centerpiece of the Republican agenda during the last few years.

  6. hollyhock says:

    The behavior of the GOP leadership was simply shameful. It won’t be forgotten.

  7. disqus_ivSI3ByGmh says:

    Like an old friend of mine is so fond of saying, “You just can’t make this stuff up!” If the Republicans want to know why people treat them like a Lampoon, it is because they have made themselves such.

  8. JohnRNC says:

    I guess Mr Cantor didn’t visit the “man-villages” where the mostly imported [from out-of-state] workforce lives when they are not at work. I also assume that Mr Cantor didn’t speak to any of the members of the community at large to find out about the dramatic increase in crime, particularly assault & sexual assault perpetrated by these thugs.
    I agree with Mr Cantor on one point however, Mr Obama should go see what the hell is happening in these communities that are being impacted by this Fracking craze.

  9. Dell Martin says:

    The party of stupid comes up with a new strategy to attract African-American voters.

  10. johninPCFL says:

    Fox news lies again? Is anyone even a little surprised?

  11. jnsgraphic says:

    Boehner, Cantor and the GOP will be getting a reality check in 2014 when they get voted out of Congress; if they don’t change their agenda and put ALL ‘people’ first, they will never have a chance in 2016 and will have no one to blame but themselves.

    • IKE SEMAYA says:


      • brucegarner says:

        Please stop typing in all caps…..Did you know that it’s the equivalent of shouting at people on these blogs?
        Thank you.

      • jnsgraphic says:

        Republicans have nothing to offer to help move this country forward because in the end they will make the Presidents 2nd term a success; they would rather see the President and our country fail, than do their part to help create jobs or get involved in democracy. The GOP and their Corporate backers are attempting to bring us all to our knees so that they can control America; in their defiance they are seeking to destroy America, while Congress continues to drag their knuckles and get paid to do nothing.

      • Lee Sterne says:

        Gerrymandering is one of the greatest evils prevalent in our political system today. It results in the election of the most extreme of each party; to gridlock; and, potentially, to the complete paralysis of our government: to the loss of our ability to govern our selves, entirely. And, given the 10th amendment, there is almost no way possible to remedy the problem. I see no way short of a constitutional amendment, and that would tax years, and may not be possible to pass at all.

  12. FT66 says:

    Republicans have a very bad leadership. No one there is thinking right. The more they eliminate minorities, the more their dreams of occupying the White House diminishes. Eliminating a small bloc like that of African-American, won’t allow any Party to reach there (at The Oval Office). Actions speak more than words. What they are doing is well received.

    • jointerjohn says:

      Their true leadership right now is in the hands of the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Addelson, Donald Trump, etc. That’s their big problem, they sold out to people who have no understanding of politics or effective government at all. If any of their ranking members even tried to exert true leadership those big donors would have his head in a bowling bag. If we hang on, keep the White House in 2016, get one good appointment to the SCOTUS, we can cut off their big campaign money like a gangrenous limb

  13. jointerjohn says:

    The only outreach today’s republican party does with any group outside the economic top1% is fear mongering. Their entire strategy is kiss up to the rich and then try and frighten enough little dummies into voting against progress. The March on Washington Anniversary was a celebration of human victory over fear, intimidation and bigotry. Why would they celebrate something that dealt a crushing blow to their most effective weapons? Go look at the hideous way they misrepresent you as criminals and muggers on the right-wing trash site WND. They use ugly lies about you to fuel the fears of the sad little bigots they court as voters. That’s all you are to them, a tool in their box of horrors.

    • IKE SEMAYA says:

      THEY LIE LIKE THE DEVIL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND ACT LIKE THE NAZIS AND MUSLIMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Charie says:

    Has it never occurred to any of you that there were no Republicans invited?

    • IKE SEMAYA says:

      NOT TRUE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • utiltxut says:

        Just b/c you say it isn’t true doesn’t make it not true. Do you watch anything but FOX News and the 700 Club.

        • IKE SEMAYA says:

          Charie said no Republicans were invited to speak at the anniversary of the March on Washington. I said that was not true. You got the wrong person you thing watches Fox BS

        • Aaron_of_Portsmouth says:

          So eager to make a comment w/o contemplating what was said by IKE. “…The sign of the intellect is contemplation. The sign of contemplation is silence…”. from a talk given by Abdu’l Baha during his trip to America in the early 20th century)

    • LotusJoan says:

      Really, Did you read the article you are commenting on? “A spokesman for Boehner told MSNBC that the Speaker “was invited, but spoke at the congressional ceremony instead” . Cantor was also not only invited, but asked to speak. The excuses for not speaking or attending indicated that they did not feel their participation was a priority.
      Please, Please at a minimum read the article that you are posting comments too.

    • Lynda Groom says:

      All members of Congress were invited. Bush II and brother were invited. Boehner and Cantor were invited. Fact is you’ve been watching Billo again and he got it wrong.

    • idamag says:

      This wasn’t an invitation only event. People chose to back it or not. Your statement is like saying I couldn’t go to the Independence Day Parade because I wasn’t invited.

    • metrognome3830 says:

      Read the article Charie, then comment. All of the Republicans were invited and some were invited to speak. NONE showed up. Cantor was asked to speak, but he was in North Dakota begging for campaign funds.

    • Aaron_of_Portsmouth says:

      Has it occurred to you that you didn’t read the article beyond the title and the first paragraph?

  15. Lynda Groom says:

    They never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Well done boys…not!

  16. midway54 says:

    Well, Cantor’s absence was designed to please his constituency of Virginia redneck yahoos, as well as the host of them in the rural outbacks across the Country, who resent seeing all their rightwing idols shaking hands with or being photographed with or reaching a compromise with Obama, whom they see as the black guy illegitimately in the White House.

  17. Mark Forsyth says:

    Unconfirmed reports indicate that attendance at United Klansmen meetings were up on the same day as The March on Washington commemoration.Guess we don’t have to wonder who attended those meetings since they were no where near the Lincoln Memorial.

  18. Lovefacts says:

    The GOP were invited but didn’t attend, per their statements, because they weren’t guaranteed the ability to give a speech. Yet, many of those who spoke weren’t asked until they showed up. Sadly, IMO, the GOP didn’t show up because it doesn’t fit their rhetoric and political agendas.

  19. latebloomingrandma says:

    They probably didn’t go because they knew President Obama was due to speak at the same time and spot as MLK did 50 years ago. This was highly symbolic and underscored his importance of our President in the struggle to advance equal rights. They probably couldn’t stomach the “spectacle, ” and being surrounded by many people who are proud of our President. Shame! A chance at being an AMERICAN was lost.

  20. toptwome says:

    Republicans sure do not need to do anything more to show their anti-minorities attitude and antipathy they have for the poor and middle class.

  21. ralphkr says:

    My, my, that certainly shows which party has all the brains and is the most practical. The Democrats spend their time in the hot sun with a bunch of nobodies who just MAY donate $3 to their campaign coffers while the Republicans spend their time in air-conditioned comfort eating gourmet foods & imbibing fine wines with multi-millionaires who donate multiple thousands of dollars to the Republican coffers. (snicker)

  22. mah101 says:

    These people are so out of touch that a) they really cannot see how bad this looks (possible to probable), b) they simply don’t care because they have gerrymandered the system so much that the only challenge they face is from even further from the right (likely), or c) they really are this stupid (for some, clearly true). For any one of these causes, they just don’t give a damn about anyone or anything other than their own narrow interests.

    Oh, and I lived in the Oil Patch of ND back at the end of the LAST oil boom and after – Cantor should visit there when the boom goes bust, then he can see how well oil development REALLY helps the people of that state.

    Shame on Cantor and EVERY other republican in Congress (ok, saying shame on republicans in Congress may be a redundant statement at this point, I agree). This disrespect should cost them dearly.

  23. BenGroseclose says:

    It’s nice to reminisce how the Republican party championed the Civil Rights movement back in the 60’s. Having said that, how could the Republicans have abandoned such a wonderful idealogy and replaced it with the indefensibly overt disenfranchisement of the african-americans, the hispanics, the LGBT community, women’s reproductive rights, downright hatred for all muslims, and an attitude of disrespect and shame for the poor in our society,

    Frankly, you may have all been as righteous as Mother Theresa in the past. That makes your current image look even more despicable, and more shameful. You suck.

    Thanks for reminding us you used to be such a righteous group of people long ago.
    (At least we can be assured that you are consciously deciding to act like you are now.)

    What in the hell happened? How did you manage to become so despicable?

  24. Bill says:

    The GOP only talks a good game, actions speak louder than words.

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