Republican Iowa Rep. Steve King came under bipartisan fire following a recent interview with The New York Times in which he asked, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King flatly denied the ensuing flurry of racism charges and maintains that his remarks were taken out of context and twisted by the Times.
But King’s pleas fell on deaf ears within his own party as Republican leaders condemned his rhetoric. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took the time to issue a scathing rebuke and suggested that King might need to “find another line of work,” the Washington Examiner reported.
King is “unwelcome and unworthy”
“There is no place in the Republican Party, the Congress, or the country for an ideology of racial supremacy of any kind. I have no tolerance for such positions and those who espouse these views are not supporters of American ideals and freedoms,” McConnell said in a statement.
“Rep. King’s statements are unwelcome and unworthy of his elected position. If he doesn’t understand why ‘white supremacy’ is offensive, he should find another line of work,” he continued.
Referencing others in the Republican Party who had spoken out against King’s comments — including both Iowa senators — McConnell added, “I commend Sens. (Chuck) Grassley, (Joni) Ernst, (South Carolina’s Tim) Scott and others for their leading voices in the Senate, and Leader (Kevin) McCarthy for his strong stand on this matter in the House.”
“Action will be taken”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) also spoke out strongly against King’s commentary and promised to take action.
“That language has no place in America. That is not the America I know and it’s most definitely not the party of Lincoln,” McCarthy told CBS News on Sunday.
“I have a scheduled meeting with him on Monday and I will tell you this: I have watched on the other side that they don’t take action when their members say something like this,” he continued. “Action will be taken. I am having a serious conversation with Congressman Steve King on his future and role in this Republican Party.”
McCarthy added, “I will not stand back as a leader of this party, believing in this nation that all are created equal, that that stands or continues to stand, and has any role with us.”
Following through on his vow to “take action,” McCarthy and House Republicans voted unanimously on Monday night to remove King from all of the committees on which he served.
King has served in Congress for nine terms, but odds are, that will be the extent of his service in Congress.
King no longer has any support from his own party or fellow Iowa delegation members, and a primary challenger has already emerged against him for 2020.