Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) is slamming Republicans for standing by House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA).
“As the new Congress begins, nothing discredits Republican claims of ‘outreach’ and bringing people together more than their decision to keep Steve Scalise at the top tier of the elected leadership of their caucus,” Wasserman Schultz said in a statement Monday, calling their defense of the Lousiana lawmaker “divisive.”
Scalise came under fire in recent days following reports he spoke at a gathering of white nationalists in 2002. Scalise apologized for what he called a mistake last week and said he rejected the views of such groups.
“It was a mistake I regret, and I emphatically oppose the divisive racial and religious views groups like these hold. I am very disappointed that anyone would try to infer otherwise for political gain,” Scalise said Tuesday.
According to Wasserman Schultz House Republicans should not have stood by Scalise.
“Anyone living in this century should have known better than to attend and speak at a white supremacist event, particularly one founded and led by David Duke, and Scalise’s explanation that he wasn’t aware isn’t credible by a long shot,” she said. “But when House Republicans stand by him years later, and GOP White House hopefuls defend or refuse to speak out, they legitimize his actions.”
Instead, she said, Republicans should “publicly condemn” him.
“So long as Republicans pander to those who peddle hate instead of unity, and tolerate bigotry instead of promoting tolerance — they will continue to perpetuate the divisiveness that we’ve all come to sadly expect,” she argued.