Eric Cantor’s odd choice of complaints

ERIC CANTOR’S ODD CHOICE OF COMPLAINTS…. Just 48 hours after a terrorist tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square, Obama administration officials tracked down, arrested, and have begun interrogating a suspect. It’s effective counter-terrorism all Americans can be proud of.

And yet, House Minority Whip and notorious post-turtle Eric Cantor (R-Va.) gave a speech today going after President Obama on — you guessed it — national security grounds.

Does Eric Cantor have the slightest clue on national security? The short answer is no.

In a speech that was about as divorced from reality as you might expect, today at the Heritage Foundation, Eric Cantor assailed the Obama administration’s record on national security. The speech should serve a strong reminder that the GOP has little qualms about politicizing our security in this 2010 cycle. Fortunately for progressives, the rebuttal is based not on wild allegations or campaign rhetoric, but clear evidence.

Frankly, I’m hard pressed to imagine what Cantor and other Republicans are so upset about. After 15 months in office, President Obama’s record on national security features plenty of success stories on everything from capturing and killing terrorist leaders to preventing deadly attacks to withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq to breakthroughs on nuclear counter-proliferation. It’s rarely talked about, but nearly three times as many terrorists were killed in Obama’s first year as there were in all of President Bush’s second term.

You’d think Cantor would find something different to complain about, especially given the fact that he has no credibility, background, or expertise on national security issues anyway.

The seriousness of Cantor’s event at the Heritage Foundation was captured nicely by an exchange during the Q&A. An attendee asked why the president should not be considered a “domestic enemy,” to the delight of the assembled far-right crowd.

Cantor smiled, but responded that “no one thinks the President is a domestic enemy.” The comment generated boos from the Heritage audience.

And to think conservatives lack credibility on national security matters.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.