House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) issued the following statement after the President delivered a speech on Guantanamo Bay Prison, that the White House pre-billed as not providing details:
"The American people expect the United States to keep terrorists where they belong - apart from civilized society and outside of America's borders. The President is confronted with the choice of continuing the policy of the previous administration which alienates some of his supporters, or siding with the majority of Americans. When it comes to the safety of our nation and her people, we must always put substance above politics.
"The facts are that aside from a few Members of Congress choosing to go against the will of their constituents, a bipartisan majority agrees that terrorists should not be brought to America's shores. Importing terrorists into our communities creates a situation where people in surrounding areas are put at greater risk. Intelligence reports make clear that nearly one in seven terrorists already transferred abroad from Guantanamo has returned to terrorism or militant activity. Furthermore, allowing terrorists to enter the prison system could, as the FBI director warned yesterday, lead to a radicalized inmate population.
"Simply put, closing Guantanamo Bay is too complex an issue to rush to resolution in order to appease those outside the mainstream. At the end of the day, when it comes to terrorism, no detail is too small, and we must have only one priority - the safety and security of the American people. "