Repub­li­cans slam re­marks by GOP’s King

Chicago Sun-Times (Sunday) - - NATION/WORLD - BY LAU­RIE KELL­MAN

WASH­ING­TON — House Repub­li­cans on Thurs­day crit­i­cized a fel­low GOP law­maker for mak­ing what they said were “racist” com­ments.

Rep. Steve King of Iowa was quoted in The New York Times say­ing, “White na­tion­al­ist, white su­prem­a­cist, Western civ­i­liza­tion — how did that lan­guage be­come of­fen­sive?”

The com­ment drew a de­nun­ci­a­tion from mem­bers of House Repub­li­can lead­er­ship.

Wy­oming Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 Repub­li­can, said King’s re­marks were “ab­hor­rent and racist and should have no place in our na­tional dis­course.”

An­other Repub­li­can,

Rep. Justin Amash of Michi­gan, tweeted, “This is an em­brace of racism, and it has no place in Congress or any­where.”

King later is­sued a state­ment say­ing he is nei­ther a white na­tion­al­ist nor a white su­prem­a­cist.

“I re­ject those la­bels and the evil ide­ol­ogy that they de­fine. Fur­ther, I con­demn any­one that sup­ports this evil and big­oted ide­ol­ogy which saw in its ul­ti­mate ex­pres­sion the sys­tem­atic mur­der of 6 mil­lion in­no­cent Jewish lives,” he said. “Un­der any fair po­lit­i­cal def­i­ni­tion, I am sim­ply a Na­tion­al­ist.”

Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the No. 2 House Repub­li­can, also weighed in.

“It’s of­fen­sive to try to le­git­imize those terms. I think it’s im­por­tant that he re­jected that kind of evil, be­cause that’s what it is, it’s evil ide­ol­ogy,” he said.

In 2014, Scalise apol­o­gized af­ter he was found to have ad­dressed a white su­prem­a­cist group in 2002 founded by for­mer Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. Scalise said he didn’t know of the group’s racial views.

It’s not the first time some Repub­li­cans have de­nounced King, nor the first time King has said his in­tent is to de­fend “Western civ­i­liza­tion.”

“We can’t re­store our civ­i­liza­tion with some­body else’s ba­bies,” he tweeted in 2017. Then he dou­bled down on CNN, telling the net­work, “I’d like to see an Amer­ica that’s just so ho­mo­ge­neous that we look a lot the same.”

King nar­rowly won re-elec­tion in Novem­ber.

Rep. Steve King

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