Cantor’s views reflect the conservative core of the Republican Party. He is not just a fiscal conservative. He has voted for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, voted against allowing human embryonic stem cell research and opposed abortion, earning a 100 percent rating from the National Right to Life Committee and a zero from NARAL Pro-Choice America.
But Cantor has been careful not to link his faith to his stance on abortion. “There isn’t a monolithic Jewish position on anything,” Cantor told U.S. News & World Report last year. “You can find many rabbis that differ on the question of when life begins. That’s one of the things about the Jewish faith…There is a multitude of opinions. Our faith has been about discourse. It’s been about interpreting the texts for thousands of years.”
As the chair of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, a forum organized by conservative Republicans, Cantor is also building up his national security and foreign policy credentials. He was a vocal supporter of the Bush Administration’s war on terror and advocates isolating regimes like Syria and Iran.
And Israel has been high on his agenda. Within his first two years in the House, he sponsored bills that attempted to stop Palestinian excavation on the Temple Mount and would have cut off all U.S. support to the Palestinian Authority. Cantor opposes the creation of a Palestinian state. “It would be premature,” he says.
He has a personal connection to the violence in the Middle East. In 2006, his 16-year-old cousin, Daniel Cantor Wultz of Florida, was one of 11 people killed in a suicide bombing of a restaurant in Tel Aviv. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.