Here’s a history of Rep. Steve King’s most controversial statements
Rep. Steve King has a penchant for creating uproar across the nation with his comments.
While defending his remarks, the Iowa Republican has generally claimed he is misquoted and that he doesn’t trust most media outlets. But for many Democrats and Republicans, his comments have gone too far.
King is currently under fire for comments he made while defending his stance of not allowing exceptions for rape and incest in anti-abortion legislation he tried to pass in Congress. He questioned whether there would be any population left, if it were not for “rape and incest,” King said during a meeting with the Westside Conservative Club on Wednesday.
“What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled those people out that were products of rape or incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?” he said at the Westside Conservative Club in Urbandale, Iowa. “Considering all the wars and all the rapes and pillages taken place and whatever happened to culture after society I know I can’t certify that I’m not a part of a product of that.”
More: Rep. Steve King: If not for rape and incest, ‘would there be any population left?’
Here’s a history of some of King’s controversial remarks.
King questions why “white nationalist,” is offensive language
In an interview with the New York Times, King questioned why “white nationalist,” among other terms, are deemed racist language.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King said in an interview with the Times that published Jan. 10. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
King said not all cultures contribute equally to society
King said presuming all cultures are equal devalues the “founding fathers” while arguing with an event attendee at a town hall in Webster County, Iowa. He said that by acknowledging that every culture is equal and contributed equally to society it reduces, “…the contributions of the people that laid the foundation for America and that’s our founding fathers,” King said at the event on May 28, 2019, in Fort Dodge.
King suggests an electric fence along U.S.-Mexico border
On the House floor in July 2006, King suggested building a border wall along the country’s southern border and said the top of the fence could be electrified, not to kill a person, but instead discourage them from “fooling around with it.”
“We do that with livestock all the time,” King said.
If Obama is elected president, King said terrorists would ‘celebrate’
In March 2008, King said terrorists would celebrate a Barack Obama presidency and that al Qaeda “would be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on September 11 because they would declare victory in this war on terror.”
King also said terrorists would be gleeful about then-candidate Obama’s pledge to pull U.S. troops from Iraq and that Obama’s father had Muslim roots in Kenya and gave his son the middle name Hussein.
King compares immigrant children to drug mules
While talking about “Dreamers” in a July 2013 interview for Newsmax TV, King claimed that for every young immigrant who becomes a school valedictorian there are “100 out there that, they weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”
King compares immigrants to hunting dogs
While discussing immigration at a May 2012 town hall in Pocahontas, Iowa, King said the U.S. should select the best immigrants, a process he likened to choosing hunting dogs.
“You want a good bird dog? You want one that’s going to be aggressive,” King said. “Pick the one that’s the friskiest … not the one that’s over there sleeping in the corner.”
King questions what minorities have contributed to civilization
King created an uproar on social media after he questioned the contributions of non-white people during a cable television appearance in July 2016
In response to a comment about the lack of diversity seen at the Republican National Convention, King questioned who has made more contributions to civilization than white people.
“I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out, where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you’re talking about, where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?” he said.
Confederate flag displayed on King’s desk
King came under fire for displaying a Confederate flag on his office desk during an interview with Sioux City, Iowa, television station KCAU in July 2016.
Following the death of two Des Moines-area police officers, King said he removed the flag after learning that Scott Michael Greene, the perpetrator, had displayed it at a Urbandale High School football game, according to the Sioux City Journal.
King suggests Muslim children are preventing ‘our civilization’ from being restored
In a tweet posted in March 2017, King was criticized across the political spectrum for a tweet supporting Geert Wilders, a far-right candidate for prime minister in the Netherlands widely interpreted as racist.
King further explained to CNN that “You’ve got to keep your birth rate up, and that you need to teach your children your values. In doing so, you can grow your population, you can strengthen your culture, and you can strengthen your way of life.”
Uncontrolled immigration could lead to ethnic strife, King says
In a tweet posted September 2016, King warned that “cultural suicide by demographic transformation must end.” He later defended his comment during a candidate forum and said uncontrolled immigration in the U.S. could lead to ethnic strife similar to that experienced in Europe.
King compares transgender troops to castrated slaves
In a speech on the House floor in July 2017, King compared the use of taxpayer money on hormone therapies and gender reassignment surgery for U.S. service members to the castration of Ottoman Empire slaves.
On King’s Facebook page, Parkland shooting survivor is criticized
In a meme posted on King’s campaign Facebook page, the congressman ridiculed Emma Gonzalez, an outspoken survivor of the Parkland school shooting and gun control advocate. Posted in March 2018, the meme referenced Gonzalez’s Cuban heritage and said “your ancestors fled the island when the dictatorship turned Cuba into a prison camp, after removing all weapons from its citizens; hence their right to self defense.”
Iowa Jewish leaders condemn King for meeting with far-right political party
King was recently criticized in October 2018 following reports that he met with members of an Austrian far-right political party associated with neo-Nazi movements after visiting Holocaust sites.
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