MSNBC's Joy Reid smears Scalise as 'David Duke without the baggage'

 January 4, 2023

As if we needed any more proof that the leftist media will say anything, no matter how untrue, to smear Republicans, MSNBC's Joy Reid said Tuesday during a discussion of potential alternatives to Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker that GOP leader Steve Scalise (LA) was "David Duke without the baggage."

Former Republican Hill staffer Kurt Bardella said he thought Scalise, currently the minority whip, was the most likely alternative to McCarthy because Jim Jordan (R-OH) didn't want the job.

Bardella said, “That is why I think Scalise is the most likely candidate.”

Reid replied, “David Duke without the baggage.”

The claims

She went on, “He has to go and raise money, Steve Scalise if he’s the speaker. Long time political reporter claims that when she first met Scalise when David Duke was a state representative, and Scalise, who was from Louisiana as well, told her, ‘I’m like David Duke without the baggage.'”

Reid obviously Googled Scalise before her statement, because an article by The Week in 2015 does quote that journalist Stephanie Grace as saying that Scalise told her that in 2002.

If Reid had actually read the account by Grace, however, she would realize that their context was quite different from her attempt to characterize Scalise as a racist.

"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."

Former allegations

Scalise faced allegations at the time that he spoke at a white supremacist conference at the invitation of Duke in 2002 when he was a state senator, but he has consistently disavowed Duke, who was a fellow lawmaker in Louisiana for a time.

"I didn't know who all of these groups were and I detest any kind of hate group. For anyone to suggest that I was involved with a group like that is insulting and ludicrous," Scalise said at the time.

He said he was speaking to as many groups as he could to oppose the Stelly state tax being proposed at the time, and he didn't vet all the groups he spoke to, as he now does.

"I had one person that was working for me. When someone called and asked me to speak, I would go. I was, in no way, affiliated with that group or other groups I was talking to," he said.

Rush to smear

But instead of doing her due diligence and being accurate about Scalise, Reid rushed to smear him.

We really shouldn't be surprised, but if I were Scalise, I would sue her for defamation.

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