Sole GOP Jew in Congress Sees No Harm From David Duke Flap

The sole Jewish Republican in the incoming Congress said revelations of a speech by the party’s House whip to a white supremacist group would not harm the party with Jews.

“This doesn’t undercut Republican progress towards reaching minorities and the Jewish community,” Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) said in a statement to The Hill, a daily covering Congress.

Revelations that Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the majority whip in the incoming U.S. House of Representatives, spoke in 2002 to a group with ties to white Supremacist David Duke, are clouding what should be a triumph for the GOP, which gained seats in the House and seized from Democrats the Senate majority in November elections.

The GOP leadership has stood behind Scalise, who says he regrets the talk, made when he was a state legislator, and was unaware of the group’s affiliations at the time.

A priority for the Republicans heading into the 2016 elections is gaining support among minorities.

In a statement, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the House minority leader, cited a finding by the Anti-Defamation League that the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, the group Scalise had addressed, was anti-Semitic.

“Whip Scalise’s involvement with a group classified by the Anti-Defamation League as anti-Semitic and the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group is deeply troubling for a top Republican leader in the House,” she said.

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Sole GOP Jew in Congress Sees No Harm From David Duke Flap

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close