Majority Whip Steve Scalise Seeks Help From Anti-Tea Party Lobbyist
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise has been seeking help from a federal lobbyist while putting together his new staff, according to a Politico report.
The report shows that John Feehery, aligned with the lobbyist shop Quinn Gillespie & Associates, “sat in on and participated in multiple official interviews with job candidates,” helping Scalise put together his press operation.
Part of the old establishment, Feehery managed communications for Speaker Dennis Hastert and Majority Whip Tom Delay.
But Feehery has a history of being critical if not outright hostile about the Tea Party.
“It is time to get rid of the Tea Party. They are an embarrassment,” he wrote in a January post titled, “Tea Party Must be Crushed”
Feehery described he modern Tea Party as ”a collection of wing-nuts, racists, hucksters, extremists, con-men and front-men, who collaborate with Hollywood and left-wing organizations to plot the demise of Republicans in good standing.”
Chief among the “good” Republicans, he wrote was Mitch McConnell, who he described as “probably the most conservative leader of either party in the history of the Senate.”
In another article, Feehery expressed his “distaste” for Tea Party as a “rag-tag group of nihilists who are doing their level best to bring down the Republican Party.”
“They hate common core standards. Hate Obamacare. Hate extending the debt limit. Hate reopening the government. Hate the NSA. Hate immigrants. Hate the establishment. Hate big corporations. Hate Labor. Hate the Federal Reserve. Hate foreigners,” he wrote. “Hate. Hate. Hate. But hate is not a policy agenda.”
Feehery also frequently shared his distain for Sen. Ted Cruz especially during the government shutdown.
“Cruz’s father once supported Fidel Castro,” he wrote. “Maybe that’s where Cruz got the inspiration to talk endlessly for 24 hours.”
“I do not like Green Eggs and Ham,” he wrote grumpily after Cruz’s floor stance against Obamacare. “Especially now.”
“Cruz likes to call the Republican establishment elitists. But he is the elitist,” he wrote. “He is the Harvard/Princeton guy who knows more than anybody else about everything else.”
During the immigration fight last week over border crisis legislation, Feehery criticized Ted Cruz and anti-amnesty hardliners for opposing immigration reform.
"This is the fight for the soul of the party," he told the Atlantic's Molly Ball. "Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan get it. Ted Cruz doesn't get it. It's the defining struggle for the Republican Party, and right now the good guys are losing."
Feehery also used his media platform to praise Scalise - who relied on him to help put together his communications staff.
As a guest blogger for the Christian Science Monitor, Feehery praised Scalise after the controversial immigration fight in the House, calling it a “baptism of fire” for his team.
“[W]hile it might seem like a rocky start, it is far better to win than to lose,” he wrote. “Scalise deserves credit for listening to his members and working with the Speaker and the Leader to craft a solution.”
He also lavished praise on Scalise after he won his race for Whip in June.
“Scalise isn’t content to complain. He is doer, not a whiner. And that’s why he won the race for Whip,” he wrote, dubbing him a “happy warrior.”
"Scalise doesn’t look under every rock for a different conspiracy. He is not a jihadist, trying to force ideological purity upon his colleagues or upon the leadership,” Feehery continued. Because he is not a conservative mullah, he is distrusted by some on the far-far right, but that is to be expected. These guys don’t trust their own mothers.”