It was supposed to be a GOP ideas factory that would fill the leadership vacuum on the right after Barack Obama’s landslide election. The National Council for a New America was supposed to be, in the words of founder Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), “a conversation with the American people” to “develop innovative solutions that meet the serious challenges confronting our country.”
But, Roll Call reports, the group is now dead one year after it launched to what, in hindsight, appears to be excessive media coverage of an entity that hadn’t actually done anything.
“Republican Party plans comeback” declared CNN; “GOP recasts brand, sans wedge issues,” said Politico; “GOP Forms Ideas Coalition” said National Journal. In fact, there were no less than 5,000 positive media hits for the National Council for a New America, Cantor’s spokesman told Roll Call.
Despite all that, the national conversation never really happened. There was only one town hall meeting attended by GOP heavyweights, in Arlington, Virginia.
Roll Call reports that the Cantor camp is blaming “liberals” for killing the group:
“It’s very simple,” said Rob Collins, president of the American Action Network and Cantor’s former deputy chief of staff. “The NCNA dominated the national media so effectively that liberals in and out of Congress — including [Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington] — attacked it.”
Here’s a flashback to Cantor introducing the group on Fox one year ago: