The Sacramento Bee published an editorial Wednesday in which it criticizes California Republican Kevin McCarthy, Majority Leader in the U.S. House, for defending Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) over allegations that he addressed a gathering associated with white supremacist David Duke in 2012. (Scalise has apologized quickly, though it is not clear whether he knew about the group’s beliefs or if he even addressed the group at all.)
The Bee writes that the controversy exemplifies why the Republican Party has increasing difficulty appealing to voters in a demographically diverse state like California:
On Tuesday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the most powerful Republican politician in California, defended House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who had admitted that in 2002, he spoke to a group founded by the neo-Nazi racist David Duke.
And McCarthy wonders why Republicans have a tough time winning elections in the Golden State….
McCarthy told The Bee’s Christopher Cadalego that he is undertaking an intensive review of the House GOP’s campaign operation to figure out why Republicans fell short in California. Maybe he is looking too far afield.
Perhaps the issue doesn’t have to do with how California Republicans ran races. Perhaps it has to do with Republicans who claim to support minorities and new Americans, but speak to the European-American Unity and Rights Organization. And maybe leaders who make excuses for the indefensible share some of the blame.
The full editorial is available here.