Conservative author Ann Coulter said Tuesday night that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) major upset loss to Tea Party-backed challenger Dave Brat should gavanize Republicans into flatly opposing any attempt to implement immigration reforms.
“I hope it will at least shut down any more happy talk about amnesty this year,” Coulter told Fox News host Megyn Kelly in a phone interview. “I wish it would have the effect of Republicans waking up and seeing that this is a winning issue for the Republicans.”
Brat, a college economics professor who defeated Cantor in a Virginia state GOP primary, made his opposition to “amnesty” central to his campaign platform, denigrating the incumbent for allegedly supporting “amnesty.”
Cantor, who opposed a sweeping bipartisan Senate bill instituting a 15-year path for undocumented immigrants, instead said he wanted to work with President Barack Obama on a “step-by-step” approach to the issue. However, Democrats and Republicans accused one another of holding up the process.
On Tuesday, Coulter argued that the success of Brat’s platform was less of a “win for the Tea Party” and more of “a defeat for amnesty,” saying most Americans oppose reforming the country’s immigration laws.
“Republicans have gotta put their foot down to the Chamber of Commerce and say, ‘Look, if we bring in 30 million, 40 million illegal aliens who are going to break for the Democrats, we’re not gonna be able to give you anything else. That’s it, because it’s gonna be the end of the Republican Party in this country,’” Coulter said.
In reality, statistics put the number of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. at closer to 11 million. And as recently as this past February, a poll conducted by lobbying firms connected to both major parties found that 63 percent of respondents supported creating a mechanism for eventual citizenship for them.
Watch Kelly’s interview with Coulter, as aired on Tuesday, below.