Louisiana state Sen. Elbert Guillory argued Wednesday that the controversy surrounding House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and a speech he made 12 years ago is just the media’s “desperate attempt” to smear the top-ranking Republican.
Mr. Guillory, a prominent conservative in his state, said it’s “ludicrous” that critics are calling on Mr. Scalise to resign after it was revealed over the weekend that he gave a speech in 2002 to a group founded by the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke.
Mr. Scalise, responding Tuesday to the reports, called it a “mistake I regret.”
“It is [a] desperate attempt to create something that does not exist,” Mr. Guillory told The Daily Caller Wednesday. “Just look at the man’s record. Judging by his record, not by who he meets, for God’s sake. That’s ludicrous.”
Mr. Guillory went on to argue that “politicians have an obligation to meet with all the people that we represent.”
“Steve is a leader,” he told The Daily Caller. “Leaders have an obligation to communicate. If we just talked to people who agree with us, we’d be talking to a tiny circle of people.
“I judge Steve by his voting record, which over many years in public service is a stellar voting record,” he said. “He represents all of the people of Louisiana in an excellent fashion.
“So this is someone trying very desperately to find some news where there really isn’t any,” he added.