Rep. Steve King (R-IA) gave a speech before Congress on Friday in an effort to defend himself from the outrage over remarks about white supremacy.
King’s fellow conservatives have blasted him for his comments published by The New York Times in which he questioned how and why terms like “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” became offensive.
When he acknowledged the “heartburn” on the House floor, King expressed “regret” as he said he “made a freshman mistake a week ago today” when he spoke to the Times.
Radio Iowa reports:
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is urging Republicans to “actively support” King’s primary opponent, Republican State Senator Randy Feenstra. Iowa GOP chairman Jeff Kaufmann has called Feenstra a “legitimate” challenger, but Kaufmann said the party will be neutral in the race.
Feenstra, the state senator who’s stepped forward to challenge King, is using the hashtag #retireSteveKing” on twitter and this afternoon Feenstra tweeted a link to a National Review opinion piece titled, “Steve King’s Bigotry Is the Antithesis of American Ideals.”
The Des Moines Register reports:
On the House floor, King said the quote was taken out of context. King argued he was saying terms like white supremacist, white nationalist and Nazi were “almost always unjustly labeling otherwise innocent people.”
“It was about how those words got plugged into our dialogue, not when the words became offensive, which is what the technical interpretation of it is,” King said. “It’s how did that offensive language get injected into our political dialogue.”
The 4th district representative also issued a news release Thursday denouncing white nationalism and white supremacy. However, that has not stopped the barrage of condemnations from Republicans and others over the controversial quote.
Rep. Steve King: “I regret the heartburn that has poured forth upon this Congress and this country and especially in my state and in my congressional district.” pic.twitter.com/vkFgVYD9Z4
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 11, 2019
It’s not enough to condemn @SteveKingIA‘s unconscionable, racist remarks. Republican leaders must actively support a worthy primary opponent to defeat King, because he won’t have the decency to resign. https://t.co/MRAMnuJaym
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) January 11, 2019