RSC Chairman to Obama: Fire John Podesta

Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise is demanding that President Barack Obama fire his new counselor, John Podesta.

The Louisiana Republican issued a statement shortly after Podesta said in an interview with Politico that the White House should "focus on executive action given that they are facing a second term against a cult worthy of Jonestown in charge of one of the houses of Congress."

Podesta apologized for the remark in a tweet earlier Wednesday, after Speaker John A. Boehner's spokesman called him out.

But Scalise said Podesta should go.

"President Obama ran to change the tone in Washington, and it's time for him to live up to that promise by relieving Mr. Podesta of his official duties immediately," Scalise said.

In his statement, Scalise appeared to be taking issue not only with the loaded implications of Podesta's comparison of the House GOP to Jonestown, but also to the suggestion that President Barack Obama bypass Capitol Hill in order to execute its desired legislative agenda.

"It's disgraceful and telling that President Obama's new Counselor is not only comparing the Republican Party to a cult that murdered those who disagreed with them, but is also using that comparison as an argument in support of shredding the Constitution and governing like a third-world dictator," Scalise said in his statement. "The American people will not stand by and allow the Obama White House to destroy checks-and-balances defined in the Constitution that are critical to a working democracy, and neither will Congress!

"The American people elected a divided government in Washington, and the Obama administration will do well to respect that fact instead of undermining the will of the American people at every turn."

Jonestown has become synonymous with a group in Guyana that killed Rep. Leo Ryan, D-Calif., during a Congressional delegation visit in 1976 — and wounded Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., who was then Ryan's aide.