House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) predicted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will be one of Democrats’ “biggest impediments” in recapturing the majority in the lower chamber during midterm elections.
Republicans on the Hill this week have said Conor Lamb won in the Pennsylvania special election because he emphasized that he wouldn’t vote for Pelosi in party leadership elections and also highlighted his personal positions that aligned closely with the GOP.
“You can look the special election of Pennsylvania and see a lot of things. One of the things we saw is both candidates run against Nancy Pelosi and run on conservative values like protecting the Second Amendment in being pro-life,” Scalise told Bloomberg TV in an interview Thursday. “…So let’s talk about how we actually hold the majority. And that is like continuing to focus on the things that we’ve done to get our economy back on track.”
“Even more” than talking about Republicans accomplishments, he said, “you look at the members that would have to be beat to flip the seat toward Nancy Pelosi with the speaker.”
“And the fact that Nancy Pelosi would be the speaker in of itself, I think, is one of their biggest impediments to getting the majority because people know just how radically left that agenda would be,” he added. “But then if you go across the board, our members in those swing districts know what’s at stake. They know what’s coming at them and this race in Pennsylvania shows you even more. You need to be out there raising your money and spreading your message through your district.”
Asked if Lamb’s victory actually gave Democrats a blueprint to win those swing districts by running to the center, Scalise predicted “they’re going to run into problems with facts because ultimately they are going to be supporting that agenda, they are going to be supporting Nancy Pelosi for speaker if they came up here.”
“But then you go look at, I think, philosophically where our country is and a lot of these primaries — they were able to handpick Conor Lamb. He didn’t have to go through a primary,” he said. “In most of the primaries, their candidates are running to the left of each other and in some cases running to the left of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. That’s the agenda that’s taken over the Democratic Party. It’s the Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders that run that agenda.”
Scalise was asked about his current views on gun control in the wake of mass shootings since surviving last year’s assassination attempt at a GOP baseball practice.
“The fact that you have people with guns that can counter a shooter are what stops those mass tragedies. So, you know, I’m blessed that David Bailey and Crystal Griner were there, well-trained and then ultimately took the shooter down so that we were all spared,” he said of the Capitol Police officers on his security detail.
“A lot of the things that you’ve seen out there wouldn’t have done anything to stop the gunman in my case,” he added. “Ultimately, if you look at all the laws on the books, and there are a lot of regulations on the books already, many of them aren’t even be enforced properly.”