- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 18, 2017

MSNBC host Joy-Ann Reid couldn’t resist criticizing House Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s conservative views on marriage, health care and gun rights just days after he was seriously injured by a gunman who may have been targeting Republicans for their political beliefs.

“And a lot of people at least in my Twitter timeline — and it’s a delicate thing, because obviously everybody is wishing the congressman well and hoping he recovers — but Steve Scalise has a history that we’ve all been forced to sort of ignore on race,” Ms. Reid said Saturday on “AM Joy.”

She pointed to Mr. Scalise’s support for a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman, his vote in favor of the Obamacare repeal bill, and his co-sponsorship of bill to repeal the ban on semi-automatic weapons.

“Because he is in jeopardy and everybody is pulling for him, are we required in a moral sense to put that aside at the moment?” she said.

Ms. Reid’s guest, NAACP board member the Rev. William J. Barber II, answered that “we hope he recovers, and then when he recovers there’s a new mindset.”

“If a lesbian person saves your life, you can’t — you should not go forward being homophobic,” Mr. Barber said, referring to U.S. Capitol Police Officer Crystal Griner, who also was injured in Wednesday’s sniper attack. “You shouldn’t be it anyway. If you almost died, but your life was saved because you got health care, then you should apply that ethic and want everyone else to have the same health care that you have.”

Ms. Reid also noted that Mr. Scalise spoke to a white nationalist group as a part of a series of talks on tax reform he gave in 2002.

Mr. Scalise said he was unaware of the group’s political views at the time.

“I didn’t know who all of these groups were and I detest any kind of hate group,” the Louisiana Republican told the Times-Picayune in 2014. “For anyone to suggest that I was involved with a group like that is insulting and ludicrous.”

“As a Catholic, I think some of the things they profess target people like me,” he added.

Mr. Scalise was one of six people injured in Wednesday’s ambush by James T. Hodgkinson, who had ranted about President Trump in social media posts prior to the attack.

Doctors upgraded Mr. Scalise’s condition from “critical” to “serious” on Sunday, but said he will have to undergo additional procedures to treat damage to internal organs and broken bones.

• Bradford Richardson can be reached at brichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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