Republican Iowa Congressman Steve King embroiled himself in yet another racism-related controversy this weekend, posting to Twitter comments supporting Dutch politician Geert Wilders’ views on immigration that concluded that, “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” King has a history of making racially charged remarks, many of which are centered around immigration as well. His latest comments have drawn fire from both sides of the political aisle for promoting white nationalism. As if to lend credence the criticism, King has even received support for his comments from none other than former Ku Klux Klan Imperial Grand Wizard and one-term Louisiana state representative David Duke, a man known for his white nationalist views.
Appearing on CNN’s New Day, Rep. Steve King doubled down on his Twitter post when asked for clarification, telling host Chris Cuomo that he meant “exactly what [he] said.”
King on Sunday had posted a tweet in support of Geert Wilders, a Dutch nativist and proponent of anti-Muslim immigration policies, and made the “somebody else’s babies” remark. At the same time, he retweeted comments also in support of Wilders, wherein the poster noted that Wilders had been “right for over 10 years.”
Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies. https://t.co/4nxLipafWO
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) March 12, 2017
“You cannot rebuild your civilization with somebody else’s babies. You’ve got to keep your birth rate up, and that you need to teach your children your values,” King told Cuomo. He said he’s said much the same thing in speeches given to audiences in Europe. “In doing so, you can grow your population, you can strengthen your culture, and you can strengthen your way of life.”
King was a latecomer to support Donald Trump’s presidential campaign (originally backing Texas senator Ted Cruz), but he fully supported Trump’s anti-immigration positions. King has been a proponent of building a wall on the southern border with Mexico for years, even going so far as to draw up plans for an electrified fence as a means of keeping illegal immigrants from crossing the border. As for anti-immigration policies toward Muslims, King just last week backed President Trump’s revised travel ban that targeted six predominantly Muslim countries and temporarily suspended all refugee traffic into the United States.
King told CNN Monday that he would like to see less focus on race in the future. “If you go down the road a few generations, or maybe centuries, with the inter-marriage,” he said, “I’d like to see an America that is just so homogenous that we look a lot the same.”
When Cuomo asked if King thought all Americans were equal, King deflected, saying, “I’m a champion for Western civilization.” King said that all people do not contribute to American society equally. “They contribute differently to our culture and civilization.”
King has made remarks before that many perceived as touting white racial superiority. In fact, in 2016 he told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, “This whole ‘white people’ business, though, does get a little tired, Charlie. I mean, 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?”
Many have taken King’s original tweet to be not only anti-immigration but anti-Muslim, due to his referencing of Wilders. Needless to say, the post has spurred a social media backlash.
Former Florida governor and Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush rebuked King.
America is a nation of immigrants. The sentiment expressed by Steve King doesn't reflect our shared history or values. https://t.co/msydFudA7m
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) March 13, 2017
As did fellow Republican state representative of Minnesota Pat Garofalo.
.@SteveKingIA <— Rep King is…
A Fake conservative.
A Fake Republican.
But an authentic Cro-Magnon.
— Rep. Pat Garofalo (@PatGarofalo) March 12, 2017
Former CIA operations officer and Republican-turned-Independent candidate for president in 2016 Evan McMullin called out King for promoting white nationalism and asked Republicans in Washington to condemn the Iowas congressman’s bigotry.
— Evan McMullin (@Evan_McMullin) March 12, 2017
Still, not everyone disagrees with Steve King’s strong views on immigration. Former KKK leader and Louisiana politician David Duke, always an outspoken advocate for white nationalism, showed support for King.
— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) March 12, 2017
Rep. Steve King is currently in his eighth term as an Iowa congressman.
[Featured Image by J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images]