Eric Cantor Says He's 'Absolutely' Shocked by His Defeat

Eric Cantor’s primary loss on Tuesday didn't just stun outside watchers, it slapped the Virginia Republican with shock, too.

"Absolutely ... I don’t think anybody in the country thought that the outcome would be what it was I think we’re going to be able to look back at this, and what seemed really bad at the time may turn out to be really good,” Cantor told ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday morning.

Cantor, 51, was defeated in his 7th District Republican primary by Dave Brat, a tea-party backed economics professor.

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While Cantor announced his resignation as House majority leader on Wednesday, he’s hopeful to remain active in "the kinds of things that we’re working on in Washington" in some capacity.

He said that he doesn't plan to go into lobbying and hasn't ruled out a future run. He said he’ll consult with his wife of 25 years about his next move.

"I believe after almost 23 years in public service that I can play a role and not just in elected office obviously but in the private sector," Cantor said.

Mitt Romney also spoke on Cantor’s shocking defeat Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“Well, there are different voices and different candidates and different effectiveness and different campaigns that of course affect the outcome of various races. I know it's our inclination to look at races and suggest that somehow a national movement is causing what occurs,” Romney told Matt Gregory.


As for what the unexpected turnout says for the Republican party, Romney said the loss "has a lot to do with the effectiveness of relative campaigns."

"But also major issues, people are upset about what's happening with the failure of the president to carry out our immigration laws. They're seeing what's happening at the border. And I think that probably figured into the party race," Romney said.

— Natalie Daher