Ac­tion promised against King

GOP call rep­re­sen­ta­tive’s re­marks ‘hurt­ful,’ ‘wrong’

The Dallas Morning News - - Front Page - FROM WIRE RE­PORTS Bloomberg News, The As­so­ci­ated Press

The House Repub­li­can leader promised “ac­tion” af­ter white supremacy re­marks by Rep. Steve King of Iowa.

WASH­ING­TON — Kevin Mccarthy, the House Repub­li­can leader, promised “ac­tion” af­ter the lat­est racist re­marks by Rep. Steve King of Iowa.

“Ac­tion will be taken,” Mccarthy said Sun­day on CBS’ Face the Na­tion.

“I’m hav­ing a se­ri­ous con­ver­sa­tion with Con­gress­man Steve King on his fu­ture and role in this Repub­li­can Party.”

Af­ter the cam­eras were turned off, he told Mar­garet Bren­nan that he is re­view­ing whether King, now serv­ing his ninth term, should keep his com­mit­tee as­sign­ments, ac­cord­ing to CBS’ tran­ script of the broad­cast.

King serves on the Agri­cul­ture, Small Busi­ness and Ju­di­ciary com­mit­tees, and chairs Ju­di­ciary’s sub­com­mit­tee on the Con­sti­tu­tion and Civil Jus­tice.

In an in­ter­view pub­lished Thurs­day in The New York Times, King, who has rep­re­sented his district in north­west Iowa since 2003, said he won­dered how white supremacy had “be­come of­fen­sive.” The top three Repub­li­cans in the House and other law­mak­ers from the party con­demned the re­marks. King, who has a long his­tory of state­ments that have been crit­i­cized as racist, later re­leased a state­ment la­bel­ing white supremacy an “evil ide­ol­ogy.”

The Con­gres­sional Black Cau­cus, a group of law­mak­ers cur­rently com­posed en­tirely of Democrats, has called for King to be stripped of his com­mit­tee as­sign­ments.

Rep. Steve Scalise, R­LA., the No. 2 House Repub­li­can, stopped short of call­ing for spe­cific pun­ish­ments and coun­tered on ABC’S This Week that Democrats hadn’t po­liced big­otry in their own ranks — es­pe­cially anti­semitism.

“I don’t see Democrats con­demn­ing Democrats on their side who are do­ing this kind of thing and us­ing this kind of lan­guage,” he said, with­out giv­ing a spe­cific ex­am­ple.

Sen. Tim Scott, R­S.C., crit­i­cized GOP “si­lence” about com­ments like King’s in a Wash­ing­ton Post opin­ion piece Fri­day, which Scalise rec­om­mended that King read. Scott, the Se­nate’s only black Repub­li­can, wrote that si­lence en­ables those who want to la­bel the party’s mem­bers as racist and im­per­ils an agenda based on “spread­ing op­por­tu­nity.”

“When peo­ple with opin­ions sim­i­lar to King’s open their mouths, they dam­age not only the Repub­li­can Party and the con­ser­va­tive brand but also our na­tion as a whole,” Scott wrote. He said King’s views are sep­a­rate from con­ser­vatism and “should be ridiculed at ev­ery turn.”

The Repub­li­can Party has strug­gled in re­cent decades to at­tract and re­tain mi­nor­ity vot­ers. Repub­li­can House can­di­dates at­tracted just 9 per­cent of black vot­ers in the 2018 midterm races, ac­cord­ing to the Pew Re­search Cen­ter.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a Repub­li­can, said King, who was co­chairman of Cruz’s 2016 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, “needs to stop it.”

“What Steve King said was stupid,” Cruz said on NBC’S Meet the Press Sun­day. “It was stupid, it was hurt­ful, it was wrong.”

KEVIN MCCARTHY

STEVE KING

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