Republican Congressman Eric Cantor is not exactly a new face — he’s been in Congress since 2001 and currently serves as the House majority leader, second in command behind Speaker John Boehner.
But if he’s not necessarily a new face, he seems to be the face of the opposition to a deal with the White House over raising the debt ceiling. Congressman Cantor is known to have had some sharp exchanges with President Obama during the negotiations, and Democrats have painted Cantor as the chief obstructionist, willing to go against his own leader, Speaker Boehner, to avoid a compromise with the president.
Who is this 48-year-old congressman from Virginia who is at the center of the political power struggle playing out in Washington this summer?
For insight into Eric Cantor, Need to Know sought out a man who knows him well. Jeff Schapiro is a long-time political reporter and columnist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He has covered Virginia elections and the state Capitol for 30 years, and he’s been following Representative Cantor’s rise since the congressman was first elected to a seat in the Virginia State Legislature in 1992.