White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest couldn’t resist drawing attention to Republicans for allowing Rep. Steve Scalise to stay as House Majority Whip, after reports that he addressed a group of people at a white supremacist group convention.
“It is the responsibility of members of the House Republican Conference to choose their leaders,” Earnest said, pointing out that the decision “says a lot about who they are, what their values are and what the priorities of the conference should be.”
Earnest explained that Republicans know that they needed to “broaden their appeal” to minorities, gays, women, and young people, but that it was eventually up to the party to decide.
“There is no arguing that who Republicans decide to elevate into a leadership position says a lot about what the conferences priorities and values are,” he continued. “Ultimately, Mr. Scalise reportedly described himself as ‘David Duke without the baggage’ so it’s up to Republicans to decide what that says about their conference.”
Earnest said that he hadn’t spoken to Obama directly as to whether or not the president thinks Scalise should resign.