NewsNation | February 05, 2013
>>> house majority leader eric cantor is the latest republican trying to rebrand the gop and maybe even his own image at the same time n. a speech this afternoon at the american enterprise institute , conservative think tank , cantor appeared to move to the middle, middle east a major issue, calling for immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship.
>> it is time to provide an opportunity for legal residents and citizenship for those who are brought to this country as children and who know no other home.
>> joining me now live nbc news senior political editor mark murray . mark, what do we make of the movement there of mr. cantor?
>> tamron, you caught the big news of the speech. he's seeming to agree with the dream act , citizenship and a path for legalization to children who are illegal immigrants. this is noteworthy because eric cantor and other house republicans voted against this measure in 2010 . so this is a reversal for him. and the entire speech was seemed to be as you mentioned a rebranding of the republican party . in fact, also of eric cantor himself trying to move away from the divisive budget battles we have seen over two years to other issues like immigration, like education and health care .
>> well, we know, of course, many members of the gop talked about rebranding after the election, a big memo and they have had focus groups look at the party itself and what it needs to do but specifically with mr. cantor, what is his motivation? seeks to rebrand house gop . what is the benefit for him other than the obvious elections?
>> look at where the republican party right now is. its popularity. so the republican party coming after two straight presidential defeats is looking for a way to appeal to more voters, get the message across and not seen as big budget cutters and they probably become more synonymous with cutting spending and something they think is a very big goal and cantor said it is a big goal and only associated with that. nothing about the conservatism with a face as we saw from george w. bush when he first ran for president. this is a way to kind of turn away from the spending cuts, be what republicans could be more for in addition to spending cuts.
>> as pointed out, this is not cantor's first crack as it put in the article repackaging republicanism or second or third. and the focus of cuts if that had resulted in wins in election, of course, we wouldn't hear his new remarks about immigration or perhaps even supporting the dream act .
>> well, and that's right. and the politico article you were referencing did say this is yet another speech of cantor that seems to be reinventing himself but politics is also about reinventing yourself and looking at the political wnds and remarkable someone that voted against the dream act stands for it. i do think that could have repercussions even though the dream act is only one small part of the legalization and other people are fighting for.
>> thank you very much. great pleasure having you on. david gregory will have an interview