Larry Kudlow says the tragic shooting of Sen. Steve Scalise, R-La., by a "deranged maniac" may actually help ease the poisonous political atmosphere on Capitol Hill, veteran economist Larry Kudlow told Newsmax TV on Thursday.
That was evidenced, Kudlow said, by the two eloquent speeches about the senseless bloodshed made by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
"Steve Scalise is an old friend of mine," Kudlow, a CNBC senior contributor, told Newsmax's Steve Malzberg. "I knew him when he was a House member from Louisiana and then he rose up the ranks to become whip. I'm praying for him like everybody else. I'm terribly worried. He's a terrific guy . . . a really a wonderful man.
"I'm also happy to hear that [President Donald] Trump is talking about some unity on this. The speeches [Wednesday] from the floor of the House by Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi were both excellent speeches. Terrific speeches. I would say ditto for President Trump.
"Sometimes terrible tragedies can bring us together, and I'm curious and hopeful, I'm very hopeful that maybe somehow besides Scalise recovering some good comes of this."
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Scalise, a congressman from Louisiana who is the No. 3 House Republican, remains in critical condition after three surgeries.
He and others were picked off by a rifle-toting madman at a charity softball practice Wednesday in Alexandra, Virginia. The gunman, shot dead by cops, was identified as a Trump-hating, Bernie Sanders-supporter named James Hodgkinson.
"I don't think people should politicize this," Kudlow said. "This is one crazy deranged guy and maybe he was for Bernie Sanders, but mostly the guy was just one sick guy acting alone. Nancy Pelosi whom I know... gave a wonderful talk from the well of the House.
"I've got to give her credit for that. I'm going to put politics aside here for just one moment. She said she's praying for President Trump and his family in the wake of the shooting spree and she said an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. House Speaker Ryan spoke later in the House chamber receiving multiple ovations."
Kudlow said he was impressed by Pelosi's conciliatory tone.
"Pelosi, not only is she praying for Scalise, but she's praying for Trump's presidency to be successful," he told Malzberg. "We've never heard anything like that from her ever before. It was not an anti-Trump or anything like that. She said she's praying.
"How do we come together to get the confidence of the American people?... This is a Kudlow theme. For a year and a half I've been telling about the need for civility in politics. It's a big part of my book 'JFK and the Reagan Revolution'....
"She said 'I pray for Donald Trump that his presidency will be successful and his family will be safe because it is about family' … Listen, I'm not here to defend Ms. Pelosi's politics. I am a conservative. She is a liberal. We get that. But what she seems to be saying is let us come together, let us have civility in our discussions, let us have a sense of humanity, maybe even a sense of caring.
"I'm just hoping that Steve Scalise recovers, and I'm hoping that the words of Pelosi and Ryan and Trump linger on and that we think in these terms for quite a while. This would be a better place for it. A better place for it."
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