After so much blather about him on the site today, you deserve to hear from the man himself. Here’s the transcript. No knocks on Dave Brat, no swats at the tea party, just thanks to his colleagues and staff plus a call for party unity ahead of the midterms. The most objectionable thing he said was that he was home in his district at least once a week. I’d be curious to see that fact-checked, but even if it’s technically true, the perception that his mind and ambitions were elsewhere probably sunk him. Quote:

Conservatives have solutions that can help alleviate the middle-class squeeze and provide opportunity to all regardless of their circumstance in life. And I will continue to fight for each and every American who’s looking to better themselves and help their families by pursuing the American dream. While I will not be on the ballot in November, I will be a champion for conservatives across the nation who are dedicated to preserving liberty and providing opportunity.

Truly, what divides Republicans pales in comparison to what divides us as conservatives from the Left and their Democratic Party. I hope that all Republicans will put minor differences aside and help elect a Republican House and Senate so that we may all benefit from a proper check and balance that leaves our nation more secure, more prosperous and freer.

And no, he didn’t back down on amnesty:

Q: Mr. Leader, what message do you believe that this sends about the future of immigration reform? Should it be stopped at this point or do you think it should go forward? And would you — what have you talked to Speaker Boehner about?

REP. CANTOR: Well, first of all, what I would say, again, on the political piece of that I’ll let you all do the analysis, but I will say that my position on immigration has not changed. It didn’t change from before the election, during the election or the way it is today.

Watching him, it’s palpably clear that he’s going to run for something again, whether or not that involves a detour to K Street first. Don’t forget that Virginia bars its governors from running for consecutive terms (they can run for multiple terms, just not consecutively), which means Terry McAuliffe is out by 2018. And that means the state GOP will be looking for a Republican with high name recognition to contest the open seat. Cantor’s an obviously possibility, which may explain why he’s unapologetic about his position on DREAM. He’s got lots of friends in high places, too: Cantor’s PAC showered cash on other congressional Republicans, more than twice as much as the next most generous group. He’ll either be a candidate for something again or he’ll be very, very rich and influential as a lobbyist. Don’t cry too hard for him.

Here he is on immigration from today’s presser, via Gateway Pundit. The election for the new House leadership, by the way, is next Thursday, June 19th. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers has declined to run so it looks like it’ll be a McCarthy/Hensarling (and maybe Pete Sessions) race for majority leader after all.