GOP Leaders Want Controversy Over Steve Scalise to End
Leaders of the House Republicans have shown support for Steve Scalise a Representative from Louisiana since it became public that he had appeared 12 years prior before an organization that was white supremacist, suggesting they think this controversy will blow over.
At the same time, some members of the Democrats have criticized Scalise, but have not called for his resignation.
Scalise is the Republican whip and on Tuesday said, he regretted making the 2002 speech and condemns views of those groups. He added that as a legislator for his state he spoke to a number of groups during that period about a big tax issue.
He called his speech to the group a mistake, something he regrets and insisted he was emphatically opposed to the divisive religious and racial views that groups such as those hold.
Scalise was defended by leaders of the Republicans within minutes of the statement he released. The new Congress, which will be controlled by the Republicans in both chambers, convenes in less than a week.
John Boehner the Speaker of the House said that Scalise had committed an error in judgment and was right to admit it was inappropriate and wrong. Boehner said his full support was behind Scalise as the House whip.
California Rep. Kevin McCarthy the Majority Leader in the House said that Scalise has acknowledged his error and condemned the organization’s views.
McCarthy said he has been friends with Scalise for years and is sure he does not share the same beliefs that the white supremacist organization does.
Scalise was given an important endorsement on Monday from Cedric Richmond who will be the only Democrat from Louisiana and the state’s only black in Congress.
Richmond said that he did not think that Scalise has any racist bones in his body.
He added that he had worked with Scalise and did not want Scalise to be used as a scapegoat for political advantage points when he knows him and his family.
Bobby Jindal, the Republican governor of Louisiana defended Scalise as well.
The group Scalise admitted to speaking to was founded by David Duke the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan and is considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.