Lawmakers from both parties were shocked when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost in a June primary to a little-known tea party challenger, but from the looks of a photo taken after the election, Virginia Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte might have also been a little amused.
The undated photo, acquired by Yahoo News, was taken in Goodlatte’s office on Capitol Hill, and it portrays the Virginia lawmaker smiling broadly while holding up a copy of the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call that was printed the day after Cantor lost to challenger Dave Brat.
It’s unclear why Goodlatte looks so delighted—or why he posed for the picture in the first place. Goodlatte is a member of the same state delegation as Cantor. The two worked together on several issues, including a bill that would offer a pathway to legality for children of undocumented immigrants. Goodlatte is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
When asked about the photo, Goodlatte spokeswoman Beth Breeding insisted that it was taken out of context.
"Congressman Goodlatte was very shocked and disappointed by the loss of Eric Cantor, both on a personal level and for the Commonwealth of Virginia. The photo was taken while interacting with others in the room on a different topic," Breeding told Yahoo News.
Cantor announced after his defeat that he would step down as majority leader on July 31. The House has elected California Rep. Kevin McCarthy to replace him.