- In his first public town hall since being punished by the House for racist comments, Iowa Rep. Steve King compared himself to Justice Brett Kavanaugh, noting “at least I don’t have accusers.”
- King, who questioned criticism of white nationalism in a New York Times interview, blamed circumstance for his past remarks.
- He also appeared to double-down on his comments in The New York Times, and critiqued Democrats for what he perceived as the over-policing of language.
In the first town hall in his home district since being punished in a vote by the House, Republican Rep. Steve King compared himself to Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and blamed circumstance for the controversy surrounding racist remarks he made in The New York Times.
“It’s stunning and astonishing to me that four words in a New York Times quote can outweigh 20 some years of public service,” King said in his opening remarks to the Primghar, Iowa crowd, which were livestreamed online.
“I even think of Brett Kavanaugh, he went through that inquisition, he at least had accusers, I don’t have accusers even,” King continued, referencing the controversial approval of Brett Kavanaugh after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct. “Not one soul has stood up and said Steve King has acted in a racist fashion.”
King faced intense criticism after he was quoted asking “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization – how did that language become offensive?” in a New York Times interview. King would go on to be stripped of his committee assignments in the House as a result of the statements.
At the town hall, King read a quote from George Orwell’s “1984,” connecting the dystopic work to his own situation. “We have the left that’s policing our language. They’re adding definitions to this English language that aren’t in Webster’s dictionary, but you’ll see them in the Urban Dictionary.”
King blamed his predicament on circumstance, claiming he was only “half-ready” for the interview. “I’ve made more than one mistake, we all have. I should have never done an interview with the New York Times,” he said. King claimed a hearing amplification device he used wasn’t set up for the interview.
Despite this, King seemingly doubled down on questioning the criticism of white nationalism, saying “they are denigrating western civilization today.”
King has a long history of anti-immigrant and seemingly racist comments, as well as other extreme nationalist positions.
King has been a longtime supporter of making English the national language and has previously sued the government for posting voter information in other languages.
He has frequently connected immigration to crime, and has claimed that white people have contributed more to society than others.
King has also referenced the idea that immigration and racial intermixing will destroy American culture, tweeting, “Cultural suicide by demographic transformation must end.”
King has also agreed with extreme nationalist statements on Twitter, such as Viktor Orban’s idea that “Mixing cultures will not lead to a higher quality of life but a lower one.”