RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor talked about tolerance during an interview with Charlie Rose on Friday’s “CBS This Morning.”
Rose asked the House Majority Leader about a statement he made after fellow Republicans in Congress — including former presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann — called for an investigation into Islamic extremists in the federal government.
Rose: Here’s what’s interesting about you’re a man who very well may be in the future speaker of the House of Representatives, the number two man in the republican house today. “Cantor urges tolerance on gays, Muslims, house majority leader Thursday urged his party and the nation to guard against intolerance on issues ranging from gay marriage to the role of Muslims in the government. Arguing the country’s diversity of opinion and acceptance of part of America’s basic fabric.” Are you worried that today there is too much intolerance and some of it is coming from within your own party?
Cantor: I would say there is equal opportunity of intolerance, unfortunately, Charlie, in this country. To me, it’s really important for us to remember that we are a country that appreciates freedom and diversity. If i have an opinion and believe in traditional marriage, I think that deserves respect like I would respect someone with a different opinion. That was the point I was making.
Rose: Do you think congresswoman Bachmann was out of line? It does not square with this.
Cantor: I think that if you read some of the reports that have covered the story, I think that her concern was about the security of the country. So it’s about all I know.
Rose: Beyond your own visit — beyond your own sense of diversity and tolerance, does this reflect on your own part some sense that this may damage the party in the general election if there’s a perception that the party and its ideas do not reflect diversity and intolerance in.
Cantor: I feel very strongly about the fact that we are a nation of inclusion. We’re built on the waves of immigrants that have come to these shores. I myself am a member of a minority faith and have enjoyed the ability to enjoy and practice that faith unlike I could anywhere else in the world. That is the point here. We all have the freedom that was given to us by our creator and was more liesed if you will in the documents that provide the framework for us to live.
Rose: On the issue of same-sex marriage, others are urging a different look at that?
Cantor: I’m not so sure what the reference to a fundraiser is. What I can tell you is I feel very strongly. I have my views, again, on traditional marriage, which I support. But I respect people who don’t agree with me just as I would expect them to respect my opinion