House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), under fire for giving a speech to a white supremacist group in 2002, released a new statement Tuesday expressing regret for his "mistake." His full statement:
"Twelve years ago, I spoke to many different Louisiana groups as a state representative, trying to build support for legislation that focused on cutting wasteful state spending, eliminating government corruption, and stopping tax hikes,” Scalise said. "One of the many groups that I spoke to regarding this critical legislation was a group whose views I wholeheartedly condemn. 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. As a Catholic, these groups hold views that are vehemently opposed to my own personal faith, and I reject that kind of hateful bigotry. Those who know me best know I have always been passionate about helping, serving, and fighting for every family that I represent. And I will continue to do so."
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) released this statement in support of Scalise, saying the majority whip has his "full confidence":
“More than a decade ago, Representative Scalise made an error in judgment, and he was right to acknowledge it was wrong and inappropriate. Like many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, I know Steve to be a man of high integrity and good character. He has my full confidence as our Whip, and he will continue to do great and important work for all Americans.”
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif) also released a statement of support:
“Congressman Scalise acknowledged he made a mistake and has condemned the views that organization espouses. I’ve known him as a friend for many years and I know that he does not share the beliefs of that organization.”