When the Tennessee Republican Party’s executive committee meets Saturday, there will be an elephant in the room, and it’s not the GOP mascot. The party’s jubilation over gaining super-majorities in the state legislature is tempered by the scandal that unfolded around incumbent Congressman Scott DesJarlais.
Asked if DesJarlais will come up when party leaders meet, one Republican lawmaker said quote, “I hope not.” Some worry he could sully the party’s brand. But Franklin Representative Glen Casada, a prominent GOP fundraiser, says that’s not what he’s hearing.
“A lot of things happen that people are willing to forgive and move on. So I don’t see it hurting the GOP. On the Democratic side, their folks have made mistakes, and I don’t see it hurting them. We had a president that lied under oath, and it had no ill effect on the Democratic party, so I think that applies here as well.”
DesJarlais managed to win re-election amid growing attacks on his credibility as an abortion foe. Now he’s in an awkward spot with backers who feel misled, over new revelations the doctor backed abortion in his personal life and slept with patients.