House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is -- perhaps not surprisingly -- predicting a Mitt Romney victory in his home state of Virginia, a key presidential battleground.
"Mitt is going to win Virginia," Cantor assured me before attending a fundraiser for Republican congressional candidate Mia Love.
"It is still very close, but what I see is a trend coming our way," he said. "Mitt will be in Virginia on Sunday. I think the big issue on the minds of the voters in Virginia, not unlike everywhere else, is jobs."
Obama won Virginia by 6 percent in 2008, but the Real Clear Politics poll tracker shows Romney leading in the state by 1.2 percent.
Cantor said the defense spending cuts -- scheduled to kick in as part of the so-called sequestration, unless Congress acts to avoid it -- would have a major impact in the state, where 19 percent of jobs are tied, directly or indirectly, to defense spending.
"It is clear that this president has no plan in place, nor [was he] interested in joining us when we moved to correct that situation last May, to stop those defense cuts,' Cantor said.
President Barack Obama said during the recent foreign policy debate that the sequestration and defense cuts "will not happen," but Cantor said that the presidents record "doesn't indicate that he is interested at all in stopping those cuts in a responsible manner."
Cantor pointed to legislation the House passed in May to avert the cuts, but the Senate did not consider. The bill would have cancelled the cuts to defense programs and increased the cuts to entitlement programs like Medicaid, food stamps and the Children's Health Insurance Program.
-- Robert Gehrke
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