Action promised against King
GOP call representative’s remarks ‘hurtful,’ ‘wrong’
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.”