Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke says he might run for office against Republican Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana.
Scalise faced questions earlier this month about a 2003 appearance he made as a state representative before the European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO) — a white supremacist group founded by Duke.
Scalise called the appearance "a mistake I regret" and condemned the sort of views groups like EURO hold.
Now Duke, who initially was supportive of Scalise, calling him a "nice guy" to the Washington Post, says he is a "sellout" for apologizing for speaking to the group over a decade ago.
"Steve Scalise, let me tell you something, this is the way I view it now: I mean this guy is a sellout. I mean he's a sellout. He's not David. He used to say that he was David Duke of course without the baggage, whatever that means," Duke told Louisiana radio host Jim Engster of the Jim Engster Show Wednesday.
"The New York Times admitted that the Republican Party won office and got control of the United States House of Representatives, essentially on my political issues. Opposed to the massive illegal immigration, the issues of welfare reform, so many other issues that I've talked about, and but the difference is with someone like me Steve Scalise, or David Vitter, you know the prostitution king. The difference between myself and those guys is that I did not sellout. I've never sold out..."
Duke said he took offense to Scalise's apology and repudiation of the views held by the group.
"He said specifically that he shouldn't have gone to the European American Unity and Rights Organization. That he shouldn't have done it, it was a terrible mistake. He shouldn't...what he's basically saying is that 60% of his district, the same people by the way who voted for him that they're just nothing but a bunch of racists. You know, I've said nothing at that conference any different that I ran for office on. It wasn't a klan meeting. It wasn't any sort of a radical meeting, it was a meeting that said there was European American rights, right? So he is a sellout, right? Because, you know he can't meet with members of his own district who have opinions like I have but he meets with radical blacks who have total opposite political positions than him."
Duke said he believed Scalise would survive politically being linked to him but didn't deserve to and should resign from the House for distancing himself from EURO's views.
"I call upon Steve Scalise to step down from his position of House of Representatives, in fact, he should resign his seat," said Duke.
Duke said Scalise's condemnation of him made him consider challenging Scalise for his congressional district.
"I am not registered to vote right now. I have legally been able to vote for years but I haven't registered right now and I'd be able to vote for, but I might just register. Just so, I might have to run against Steve Scalise because you know, I really might. I mean, I'm definitely going to consider it because its so disgusting to me to see…he got elected on false pretenses."
"He elected supposedly David Duke without the baggage but he is not David Duke, and he certainly doesn't —he's basically, condemning the people of his district who voted overwhelmingly for me to be their US senator and voted to be their governor. He's insulting every one of the members who actually voted for him because he is suggesting to they're racist because they supported my views. So that's the thing, again I call on him to step down. He should step down because he has betrayed, he has betrayed his people. that's the difference between, see they always talk about the fact that the Republican Party's issues are my issues. The difference with me in the Republican Party is that I didn't betray them when I got elected."
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Megan Apper is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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