Scalise: We Always Treated Obama with Respect

Scalise: We Always Treated Obama with Respect July 18, 2019

Rep. Steve Scalise, the second-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, tries to rewrite history by claiming that while Republicans disagreed with President Obama on many policy issues, they always treated him with respect. Obama’s birth certificate could not be reached for comment.

Here, for example, was House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) yesterday, talking to reporters during a Capitol Hill press conference about the difference between how Republicans treated Barack Obama and Democrats treat Donald Trump.

“Look, we disagreed with Barack Obama on a lot of things that he did, the policies. As our conference chair laid out, there are a lot of policies that we had disagreements on with Speaker Pelosi and her socialist Democrats, just like we had disagreements with a lot of Barack Obama’s policies, but we never disrespected the office. […]

“We expressed our disagreements in a respectful, respectful way.”

Steve Benen responds:

I know better than to try to summarize an eight-year period in which Republicans disrespected the Obama presidency on a nearly daily basis, but one need not have an encyclopedic memory to recall incidents that disprove Scalise’s bizarre boast.

Remember the time a House Republican heckled Obama during a speech to a joint session? How about the years in which GOP officials tolerated – and at times, perpetuated – the racist birther conspiracy theory? Or incidents such as Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) vowing to send the Democratic president “home to Kenya or wherever it is”?

Or maybe the point at which 44 Senate Republicans demonstrated their “respect” for the office of the presidency by writing a letter to Iran, telling our enemy not to trust Obama or his word?

One could go on all day with example after example, starting with Trump himself and his racist birther conspiracy. Republicans treated Obama with about as little respect as it was possible to give. He was, to many of them, a Marxist Kenyan Muslim terrorist. But hey, they always said so “respectfully.” Gotcha.

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