Steve Scalise

Who Will Replace Ryan as House GOP Leader?

Playbook: “A quick election benefits McCarthy. He’s already the majority leader, and the natural heir to the top slot.”

“But, McCarthy and Scalise are plotting — they’re always plotting. Even when an election is not on the horizon. These are two men who know exactly how everyone feels about them. They know who’s with them, and who isn’t. They know the pockets they are weakest in. Neither man is starting from scratch when it comes to making a move.”

“Right now, Scalise and McCarthy are in a tough spot. Neither man knows what he is running for. If Ryan does stay speaker until the election, the top GOP slot could be speaker or minority leader, depending on the election outcome. Those are two very different races. Speaker needs 218 — the majority of the House. McCarthy belly flopped on that when Ryan became speaker. Minority leader needs half of the GOP conference. No one will know what that number is until after the election.”

Key point: “The Freedom Caucus — the strongest pocket of conservatives — benefits in a speaker election where the leading candidate doesn’t have 218 votes.”

The Race to Replace Paul Ryan Is On

Politico: “Two top members of Paul Ryan’s leadership team, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Majority Whip Steve Scalise, have begun angling for his job in the event the speaker calls it quits after the election. They’re closely monitoring the moves of the other and quietly courting Republicans who could help them clinch the top post.”

“Neither man is actively rounding up votes at this point, and both of them downplayed the possibility of a looming clash. Scalise said in an interview that he would not challenge McCarthy for speaker — ‘I’m not running against Kevin for anything,’ he told Politico — while McCarthy said he’s focused solely on keeping the House in November and pursuing President Trump’s agenda.”

Scalise Admits He’d Like to Be Speaker

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) admitted to Politico “his desire to lead the conference someday but said now isn’t the time to discuss it.”

Said Scalise: “I wouldn’t rule it out. Obviously, I’ve shown interest in the past at moving up. I’ve enjoyed being in leadership. I feel like I’ve had a strong influence on some of the things that we’ve done, and I’ve helped put together coalitions to pass a full repeal of Obamacare.”

Playbook: “Scalise’s interest in the speakership is now public. So, whether he meant it or not, there is now an alternative to Kevin McCarthy. If you’re a member who wants Scalise as speaker — or doesn’t want Kevin — you now know a vote against McCarthy could get you the Louisiana Republican.”

GOP Lawmaker Shot at Baseball Game

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) was shot at a practice for a congressional baseball game, CNN reports.

“Scalise appears to have been shot in the hip and it appears two Capitol Hill police agents were shot.”

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) told the AP that Scalise “crawled into the outfield, leaving a trail of blood.”

The New York Times reports that about 50 shots were fired.

‘This Is Our Moment to Make History’

House majority whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) send the following email to the Republican caucus:

These next few days could define us for years to come. We ran for Congress to do big things and save our country from leftist progressivism. We ran for Congress to seize the opportunity and achieve the promise that the American people have bestowed upon us…

I have told the President and the Speaker that the Whip team is all in. As you whip this bill and speak to our colleagues, remind Members that attacks from the Left are nothing new, and rarely accurate. Democrats and the media will distort, distract from, and deceive about any health care plan that seeks to relieve the American people from the crushing burden of Obamacare. We have heard it all before from the Left…

This is our moment to make history.

David Duke May Challenge Steve Scalise

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke says he might run for office against Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), BuzzFeed reports.

Scalise faced questions earlier this month about a 2003 appearance he made before a white supremacist group founded by Duke and called the appearance “a mistake I regret.”

Said Duke: “Steve Scalise, let me tell you something, this is the way I view it now: I mean this guy is a sellout. I mean he’s a sellout. He’s not David. He used to say that he was David Duke of course without the baggage, whatever that means… I might have to run against Steve Scalise because you know, I really might. I mean, I’m definitely going to consider it because its so disgusting to me to see…he got elected on false pretenses.”

Scalise Tried to Kill Bill Apologizing for Slavery

“Six years before he spoke to a white supremacist group, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) voted as a state lawmaker against a resolution apologizing for slavery,” The Hill reports.

A 1996 article from the New Orleans Times-Picayune says that Scalise later backed a watered-down version that expressed “regret” for slavery. But the article identifies him as one of two lawmakers who tried to kill the original resolution, which apologized to African Americans for the state’s role “in the establishment and maintenance of the institution of slavery.”

David Duke Threatens to Expose Other Politicians

David Duke told Fusion that it was unfair Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) was “singled out” for speaking to Duke’white supremacist organization in May 2002, the New Orleans Times Picayune reports.

Duke said that “politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, have attended everything from conferences he’s organized to his children’s birthday parties. To say nothing of Republicans, Duke estimates that he has met with Democratic lawmakers a good 50 times. He threatened to release a list with names of Republicans and Democrats who’ve been tied to him in one way or another.”

Said Duke: “If Scalise is going to be crucified — if Republicans want to throw Steve Scalise to the woods, then a lot of them better be looking over their shoulders.”

How a Blogger Rocked the House GOP Leadership

Huffington Post: “In early December, Lamar White, Jr., a third-year law student and liberal political blogger, got to work on a tip about Rep. Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican… White, by his account, simply Googled ‘Steve Scalise’ and ‘David Duke’ and immediately found a couple posts on a white supremacist site that have since consumed the sleepy holiday political news cycle and rocked the Republican House leadership.

Meeting Steve Scalise

New Orleans Advocate reporter Stephanie Grace: “This is what I remember about the first time I met Steve Scalise nearly 20 years ago: He told me he was like David Duke without the baggage.”

“The baggage, of course, was Duke’s past, his racist and anti-Semitic views and his former role as a KKK grand wizard. Scalise disavowed Duke then, as he did once again this week… But the other part of the sentence, the part about their similarity, was the rub. Scalise may have been naïve about how to express himself to a newcomer, but he was already a savvy politician who knew that, even though Duke had lost the governor’s race a few years earlier, Duke voters were still around. And those Duke voters also were potential Scalise voters.”

GOP Tries to Contain a Race Scandal

“House Republican leaders, poised for a celebratory takeover of Congress next week, instead found themselves scrambling Tuesday to defuse a racially charged controversy over one lawmaker’s speech a decade ago to a white supremacist group,” the New York Times reports.

“The controversy erupted as Republicans were making a renewed effort to reach out to black voters. It threatened to cloud their agenda after capturing control of the Senate and adding to their House majority in last month’s election. Republicans anticipated using their new power to focus on economic growth and potentially find areas of common ground with President Obama, both elements of a broader push to demonstrate that the party can govern at a time when lawmaking in Washington has all but come to a halt.”

Washington Post: GOP ramps up damage control

Boehner Backs Scalise Amid Scandal

Speaker John Boehner expressed “full confidence” in Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the No. 3 Republican leader in the House, “as he sought to quell a racially charged controversy shaking the party after Mr. Scalise confirmed that he had addressed a white supremacist group a dozen years ago,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Boehner’s statement of support was his first public comment since the news broke on Monday night, a period filled with calls from some Republican and conservative commentators, as well as Democrats, for Republican leaders to shove Mr. Scalise from the leadership post. The flap roiled Republicans just as they were poised for a celebratory takeover of Congress when the new session opens next week.”

House GOP Leader Spoke to White Supremacists

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the No. 3 Republican in the House, addressed a group of white supremacists and neo-Nazis in 2002, the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Scalise made his remarks to the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, which was founded two years earlier by David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader and Louisiana politician… It was unclear what the revelation means for Mr. Scalise’s future in the House leadership. Speaker John A. Boehner declined to comment on the reports.”

Washington Post: “The news could complicate Republican efforts to project the sense of a fresh start for a resurgent, diversifying party as the new session of Congress opens next week.”