Republican Harold Johnson got a boost today from one of the House's ranking GOP leaders.
Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia headlined a fundraiser for the 8th District candidate at Charlotte's Fireman's Hall. Before the luncheon, the two spoke to two reporters at a news conference.
Cantor, who is going around the country stumping for GOP candidates, called Johnson's race against incumbent Democrat Larry Kissell "a majority-maker."
"This race is critical to our obtaining a majority," he said.
Cantor said Kissell had "cast his lot with (Speaker) Nancy Pelosi."
"He has demonstrated his willingness to go along with a destructive policy," he said.
The two split only when I asked Johnson about TV ads that criticize his support for the so-called Fair Tax. Advocates of the Fair Tax would abolish the federal income tax and Internal Revenue Service and repeal the 16th Amendment that authorizes them. They would replace it all with a 23 percent national sales tax.
"What this tax would do is eliminate the income tax as we know it and the IRS," Johnson said. If it comes to a floor for a vote, I would be there."
He'd be there without Cantor, who said he opposes the Fair Tax. "I'm a support of refining the tax code to make it simpler," he said.
Johnson and Cantor did agree on their opposition to "card check" legislation that would make it easier for labor unions to organize. Kissell is a co-sponsor of the legislation. Cantor and Johnson made their comments standing virtually atop a marble slab engraved with the local of Local 666 of the International Association of Firefighters.
"I sort of realized the irony," Cantor said later.