Politics

Republicans Rebuke King Over His Latest Racist Comments

January 14, 2019
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Rep. Steve King. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

House Republicans voted on Monday to strip Iowa Rep. Steve King, recently elected to a ninth term, of all of his committee assignments in the wake of comments he made to the New York Times last week.

“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” Mr. King said. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”

The vote to remove King from his committee assignments is likely not the only punitive measure he will face. Two members of the House have introduced censure resolutions.

King tweeted complaining about the “Assault on My Freedom of Speech.”

Members of both chambers of Congress and both parties spoke out against King on Monday, most vocally Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and newly elected Utah Senator Mitt Romney.

“There is no place in the Republican Party, the Congress or the country for an ideology of racial supremacy of any kind,” McConnell said. “I have no tolerance for such positions and those who espouse these views are not supporters of American ideals and freedoms. Rep. King’s statements are unwelcome and unworthy of his elected position.”

Romney went further and called on King to resign:

Romney later told a group of reporters that “Steve King’s comments are reprehensible.”

He said King “ought to resign and move on and let someone else who represents American values take his seat,” adding “he should find a different line of work.

King has a history of endorsing white nationalist candidates, namely Faith Goldy in her unsuccessful bid for Toronto mayor and Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders.

King faced a battle in his re-election bid this year, winning by only 3 percentage points in Iowa’s 4th District. At a campaign event in October, Adam Rubenstein of The Weekly Standard reported that King had referred to immigrants as “dirt.” King’s campaign barred Rubenstein from an election night party and denied the claim. The Weekly Standard then published the audio of the event.

Iowa Republican state senator Randy Feenstra has announced that he intends to run for King’s seat in 2020.