By Andrew J. Ireland

WASHINGTON – After the tea party’s unexpected ouster of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor analysts are shaking their heads as to how he lost and better yet why Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, kept his seat.

Author, columnist and fundraising heavyweight Richard Viguerie says voters want energetic leaders, and despite his unfavorable stances Graham exudes energy. And Cantor does not.

“If there’s one message that the grassroots is sending by voting Cantor out of office – Republican voters are looking for leaders who will fight,” Viguerie said in an exclusive interview with WND.

He said Americans are “just so discouraged and disillusioned by the weakness of Republican leaders.”

Viguerie believes the Republican party is in a civil war – a case of establishment v. conservative, if you will.

Published by WND Books in April, Viguerie’s “Takeover: The 100-Year War for the Soul of the GOP and How Conservatives Can Finally Win It,” documents how this century-long civil war within the GOP is building to a climax.

Viguerie, a veteran conservative activist, believes weak leadership by establishment Republicans is holding the party and the country back.

“[Voters] see Obama, and Joe Biden and Harry Reid just cleaning their clock and attacking and attacking and attacking,” Viguerie said. “And the Republican leaders coming across as weak, with very little spine. Very little energy to oppose the Obama agenda.”

Get your own copy of “Takeover: The 100-Year War for the Soul of the GOP and How Conservatives Can Finally Win It” now.

Viguerie believes, “Above all else, [voters] are looking for Republican politicians who will stand up and fight and oppose the Obama agenda.”

According to Viguerie, David Brat, the tea party candidate who defeated Cantor, will provide that leadership and stand up to the administration.

In a move that nearly no one saw coming, Brat decisively defeated Cantor in Tuesday’s primary race by a shocking 10-point spread. That same night Graham avoided a runoff in South Carolina’s primary.

Since 2010 Graham had been widely expected to face serious tea party opposition at the ballot box due to his perceived moderate stances.

Viguerie believes Graham’s hard campaigning and energetic approach was a major factor in his success Tuesday.

“People are looking for energy,” he said. “It could be one of the reasons why Lindsey was renominated … Even though voters disagree with him on many of the positions that he takes – he has energy. He’s out there fighting. He’s taking positions.”

Viguerie says “‘Takeover” outlines how to stand up to the administration and highlights the need for energetic leaders as conservatives fight to win the civil war within the GOP.

Andrew Ireland is an intern for WND.

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