House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) credited Tea Party activists with refocusing GOP attention on an expanding federal government, calling the grassroots movement a “surge protector.”

Speaking at an event in San Diego, Calif., on Monday, Cantor said that Tea Party voters propelled Republicans to majority status in the House last year, as a way to prevent the “surge” of federal government under a Democratic-controlled White House and Congress.

“The reality is: taxed enough already,” Cantor told an audience of employees at Qualcomm, which he dubbed one of the nation’s “innovation anchors.”

“The Tea Party, they’ve been a tremendous influence, frankly, in letting us focus on the fiscal issues and helping us focus on the surge in the size and reach of the federal government – into way too many aspects of our economy and our lives,” Cantor said.

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