In the immediate aftermath of the horrific mass shootings in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH earlier this month that left 32 dead and dozens more injured, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA-1) issued a statement condeming the attacks as well as the political bickering that ensued shortly thereafter.
Scalise wrote, in part:
“In a media culture that encourages viewing people solely through hyper-partisan lenses, and not as neighbors and fellow citizens, dangerous division and hatred of those you disagree with is the outcome. This can often lead to violent consequences, as I have personally experienced.
These events are tragedies. Reducing them to talking points and name-calling in support of narrow political agendas only further divides our country.”
The following week, Scalise drew on his experience as a victim of politically-motivated violence when answering questions on whether or not full or partial blame for mass shootings should be assigned to politicians and their rhetoric in an interview he did yesterday on CBS News‘s “Face the Nation” program:
“To try to assign blame to somebody else is a very slippery slope because the president is no more responsible for that shooting as your next guest Bernie Sanders is for my shooting,” Scalise said on “Face the Nation”:
The Louisiana Republican was referring to the massacre in an El Paso Walmart last Saturday and a shooting in 2017 in which a gunman — who authorities later surmised was fueled by “rage against Republican legislators”* — critically wounded Scalise and others while they were practicing for a congressional baseball game.
*Note: CBS News did not note that the perpetrator of Scalise’s attack was a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
During the interview, Scalise also slammed Democratic presidential candidates who were pinning the blame directly on President Trump for what happened in El Paso:
“I know they’re running for president and they might not like Donald Trump’s views but stop this ridiculous assessment of blame to somebody other than the person who’s responsible,” he said.
Pressed again about Mr. Trump’s use of words like “invasion” when referring to migrants, Scalise demurred, noting that the president denounced racism and white supremacy during a White House address last week. He reiterated that all the blame lays with the shooters.
“Let’s try to identify these shooters in a better way which right now we’re working on doing let’s put more emphasis there,” Scalise said.
Watch the the segment below:
You can read the full transcript of his interview here.
The House Minority Whip was not asked to expand on his thoughts regarding his U.S. House colleague Rep. Joaquin Castro’s (D-TX-20) doxxing of 44 Trump donors from his Congressional district last week, which Scalise condemned on Twitter the day after Castro published the information.
“People should not be personally targeted for their political views. Period. This isn’t a game. It’s dangerous, and lives are at stake. I know this firsthand,” Scalise tweeted at the time.
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –