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Former GOP House Leader Blames Barack Obama for 'Extreme Element on Both Sides of the Aisle'

Former GOP House Leader Blames Barack Obama for 'Extreme Element on Both Sides of the Aisle'
Nelson Mandela Foundation/YouTube // JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) lost his House seat back in 2014, but he's making waves again with bold claims about the recent history of the two main parties in United States politics.

Continuing the Republican tradition of blaming former President Barack Obama for a vast array of developments in the United States, Cantor claimed Obama was responsible for the normalization of extremism in American politics.

Watch below.

In an interview with CNN, Cantor said:

"I don't doubt for a second that the level of craziness has increased in Washington over the last few years in both parties. But certainly when we were serving back during the Obama administration, there was plenty of indicators that we had an extreme element on both sides of the aisle."

Cantor went on to say that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009—one of Obama's first pieces of legislation as President, designed to offset the fallout from the Great Recession—was responsible.

"One of the things that happened early on in the Obama administration was he laid down the gauntlet with his so-called stimulus bill, and drew a party line really brightly, which encouraged some of this backlash on the extreme end of the spectrums, on our side and his."

The modern Republican party's embrace of conspiracy theories and increasingly blatant racist rhetoric is largely attributed to the 2008 presidential election, when the late Senator John McCain (R-AZ) tapped then-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to join him on the ticket as his Vice Presidential nominee.

Palin associated Obama with domestic terrorists and encouraged the rise of the Tea Party, many of whose supporters believed Obama was secretly a Muslim born in Kenya.

A Frontline documentary released last year traced the rise in Republican online disinformation to Palin's rhetoric, with McCain's former campaign manager, Steve Schmidt, saying:

"She is the first of a generation of politicians who live in a post-truth environment. She was, and there's no polite way to say it, but a serial liar. She would say things that are simply not true, or things that were picked up from the Internet, and this obliteration of fact from fiction, of truth from lie, has become now endemic in American politics. But it started then."

In less than a decade, the conspiracy theories embraced by the Tea Party would be dwarfed by the mass delusion known as QAnon, and the continued normalization of lies from former President Donald Trump and his allies in the Republican party.

People called Cantor out for his rewriting of history.

Others noted that Obama's race was a substantial part of Republican voters' misgivings with his administration.

Before the interview's conclusion, Cantor said he would support Trump if he ran for President again in 2024.