House Majority Leader Eric Cantor Friday declined to condemn Rep. Michelle Bachmann’s campaign against Muslims holding high-profile positions within the federal government.
During an appearance on CBS’ This Morning, host Charlie Rose pressed Cantor on charges by Bachmann and a group of House conservatives that Huma Abedin, an assistant and close confidant of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is one of a growing number of Muslims in the federal government with ties to terrorist organizations.
Bachmann’s claims have virtually no evidence behind them, however.
After reading portions of a BuzzFeed interview in which Cantor urged the country and the GOP to be more tolerant, Rose asked Cantor he felt Bachmann was out of line.
Cantor – who in last week’s interview said it is “absolutely wrong to stereotype or look badly at anyone because of their religion” – declined to specifically condemn Bachmann.
“If you read some of the reports that have covered this story, I think that her concern was about the security of the country,” the Virginia Republican said.
Cantor’s comments contrast with those of other GOP leaders – including Speaker John Boehner and Sen. John McCain – who have roundly condemned Bachmann and her claims.
“We are a country that appreciates freedom and diversity,” Cantor said in the BuzzFeed interview, noting that he himself is Jewish. “I feel very strongly that we’re a nation of inclusion. We’re built on the waves of immigrants that have come to these shores.”