FIRST ON FOX: Five years after the fateful Alexandria, Virginia, shooting that saw him hospitalized and fighting for his life, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., thanked God and the “heroes” on the baseball field that day for saving him.
Scalise hopped on the phone with Fox News Digital for an exclusive interview five years after he and several other GOP lawmakers were nearly assassinated by a leftist gunman during a team practice ahead of the annual Congressional Baseball Game.
James T. Hodgkinson, a far-left former volunteer on Sen. Bernie Sanders’, I-Vt., presidential campaign, opened fire on a group of Republican lawmakers in June 2017 as they practiced for the annual Congressional Baseball Game. Scalise was shot and critically injured during the attack, requiring surgeries to save his life.
The number two House Republican said he was “feeling great” five years after he was shot by the gunman as well as thankful for the “heroes” that saved his life on the field that fateful June day.
“Lucky to be alive, but also just appreciative of the heroes that were on the ballfield that day,” Scalise said on Tuesday. “The Capitol Police, Virginia police, who saved all of us, and for God.”
“God just performed miracles that day on the ballfield, too,” the Republican whip continued. “So not a day that goes by where I don’t thank God for allowing me to still be here doing the things I love.”
Scalise said that, while he doesn’t have the “speed” that he had before the shooting, he would be “happy to drop a mic” on a single this year if he can get one.
“But I still get out there. I still get to field the ball at second base, and I’m definitely more mobile than I was,” Scalise said, adding that he is “working every day” and doing “physical therapy once a week to keep getting better.”
“It’s just fun to be out there on the ballfield playing with your friends,” Scalise added.
The Louisiana Republican said that five years after his attempted assassination, American politics still has a “toxic atmosphere” and pointed to the alleged attempted assassination on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh last week.
Scalise said “there are still, unfortunately, evil people out there that want to take their differences that they have with people’s political views and turn it into violence” while declaring there is “no place for that in society” and adding, “We all ought to be vocal against political violence any time we see it.”
Scalise called it a “shame to see the silence” coming from President Biden in the wake of the attempted Kavanaugh assassination and that he was “very disappointed” with the Justice Department for not taking action against protesters who are violating federal law by demonstrating in front of the homes of Supreme Court justices.
“It’s just not something that anybody should sit on the sidelines and condone,” Scalise said. The whip also blasted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., for bragging about stalling the Supreme Court Police Parity Act, which passed the Senate in a very rare unanimous vote.
The Supreme Court Police Parity Act would give the justices and their families protective details similar to the Secret Service but has stalled in the House as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., refuses to bring it up for a vote a month after clearing the Senate.
Pelosi’s stall comes from negotiations where the speaker is attempting to get police protection for other Supreme Court employees, such as clerks. This means that the amendment, if added, would guarantee police protection for the clerk that leaked the draft decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade.
“It’s just bizarre that on the heels of an actual man arrested trying to kill a Supreme Court justice, somebody would be playing games with the security and safety of the families of Supreme Court justices,” Scalise said.
“I mean, it shouldn’t matter, Republican or Democrat, whichever president appointed them, there’s only nine justices,” he continued. “They are representative of the third branch of government, and they should stop playing these political games and should stop encouraging people to go in and threaten and intimidate and bully them at their homes.”
Scalise said it is “long past time” for Attorney General Merrick Garland to “answer” for not enforcing the federal law banning protesters from gathering outside judges’ and justices’ homes, but said it was “too soon” to consider impeaching the attorney general.
The House minority whip said the GOP’s focus “needs to be” flipping the lower chamber in the 2022 midterm elections, noting the conservative party is “very focused” on the races around the country that many are saying heavily favor Republicans.
“We have great candidates all around the country and we’re going to be rolling out a very bold conservative agenda this summer called The Commitment to America,” Scalise said, comparing it to the successful GOP “Contract with America.”
Currently, the House version of the Supreme Court Police Parity Act, led by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., is waiting to be brought up for a vote, which Scalise said he would like to see “today.”
“And I’ll tell you, as the Republican whip, if that bill was put on the floor today, it would pass overwhelmingly with, I would predict, with more than a two-thirds vote,” Scalise said.
“And so it begs the question, what are they waiting for? Why are they delaying this bill for over a month?” he asked.