Steve Scalise Slams Democrat Mandela Barnes for Politicizing 2017 Shooting: ‘That’s Disgraceful’

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 07: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) leaves following a
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Scott Olson/Getty Images

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) slammed Democrat Wisconsin Senate candidate Mandela Barnes for an inappropriate 2017 comment regarding Scalise’s experience of being shot during practice for the annual Congressional Baseball Game and nearly dying as a result.

Following the 2017 act of political violence against Scalise, Barnes retweeted an article with a photo of Scalise in a wheelchair. Barnes seemed to be angry that Scalise remained a strong supporter of the Second Amendment even after he was shot.

“Taking one for the team,” Barnes tweeted as Scalise was forced to use a scooter to move about the Capitol. “I question how people vote against self interest but this is next level. He literally almost died on this hill.”

After Barnes’ tweet resurfaced Thursday in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, Scalise slammed Barnes for his “disgraceful” comment that “in essence” condoned political violence.

“That’s disgraceful. It says a lot more about his lack of character to be in essence condoning political violence. All of us should be standing up against political violence,” Scalise told Punchbowl News.

“To say something like that, [Barnes] really needs to look in the mirror and reevaluate his lack of character,” he added.

Scalise, currently the second-highest ranking GOP House member, was critically wounded by a politically motivated gunman while practicing for the annual Congressional Baseball Game. The gunman, James Hodgkinson, 66, fired 60 rounds into those practicing on the field in Alexandria, Virginia.

“I was just fighting for my life. By the time I got to the hospital, I was in a coma for three days,” Scalise recalled about the near death experience.

Upon Scalise condemning Barnes on Thursday, the Wisconsin Senate candidate issued a statement to Punchbowl News excusing his tweet as coming “from a place of frustration” about crime.

“This is a very personal topic for me as someone who has experienced the pain of losing friends and loved ones to gun violence,” Barnes prefaced. “My comments came from a place of frustration with politicians like Ron Johnson who see gun violence happen everyday and turn their backs on solutions that would keep people safe.”

Barnes’s resurfacing tweets could not have come at a worse time. Polling showed Thursday Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) pulling five points ahead of the radical Democrat.

Barnes is one of the most radical candidates in the 2022 cycle. He opposes the Second Amendment. “I really could not care less about a 2nd Amendment ‘right.’ Bear arms all you wish, but you should pay for your mishandling,” he tweeted in 2013.

Barnes has stated police departments should be defunded. He also believes police do not prevent crimes. Barnes has also advocated for abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and ending cash bail.

He has additionally called the founding of the United States “awful” and criticized national parks as a part of the systemically racist fabric of America because the “parks are on land that was indigenous.”

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.


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