Speed Reads

Republicans in disarray

Steve Scalise reportedly said he was 'like David Duke without the baggage'

In an article tracing how the political worldview of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke has become mainstream in Louisiana, The New York Times dug up an interesting quote about Rep. Steve Scalise (R), who came under fire this week after it was revealed that he spoke to a summit of white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Louisiana in 2002:

Stephanie Grace, a Louisiana political reporter and columnist for the past 20 years, first with The Times-Picayune in New Orleans and now The Advocate of Baton Rouge, recalled her first meeting with Mr. Scalise.

"He was explaining his politics and we were in this getting-to-know-each-other stage," Ms. Grace said. "He told me he was like David Duke without the baggage. I think he meant he supported the same policy ideas as David Duke, but he wasn’t David Duke, that he didn’t have the same feelings about certain people as David Duke did." [The New York Times]

Many conservative commentators, including Michael Brendan Dougherty at The Week, have called for Scalise to step down as majority whip of the House.