As GOP Rushes to Condemn Steve King’s Hateful Remarks, Iowa Republicans Remain Silent

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DES MOINES — As Republicans from around the country rush to denounce Steve King’s hateful and offensive comments about immigrants, Iowa Republicans have remained strangely silent. From Sen. Chuck Grassley to Rep. Tom Latham to Chairman A.J. Spiker to the half-dozen candidates running for Senate in 2014, not one has denounced King’s outrageous comments.

“With every minute that passes, it seems another Republican has denounced Steve King’s hateful comments about immigrants, including House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor,” said Iowa Democratic Party Chair Scott Brennan.  “But Iowa Republicans haven’t offered one word of condemnation for King’s hateful remarks. The question remains: will Iowa Republicans denounce Steve King’s offensive comments, or do they agree with his assessment of Latino immigrants?”

After the firestorm of criticism, US Senate Candidate David Young dodged the question of whether he would condemn King’s remarks this morning when asked by reporters.  Meanwhile, Governor Terry Branstad’s office said that while he disagrees with King’s remarks, he still has “great respect for Congressman King and considers him a friend.” Other Republicans have yet to respond.

“Governor Branstad is once again failing to lead,” Brennan continued. “This is about more than just ‘disagreeing’ with what Steve King said, this is about condemning a mindset that goes against our Iowa values of respect and fairness.  This an opportunity for the Governor to show true leadership and demonstrate that Iowans will not tolerate these kinds of hurtful remarks.  But, once again, he failed.”

Republicans Rush to Denounce Steve King’s Offensive Comments

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH):What he said does not represent the values of the American people or the Republican Party

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA): “I strongly disagree with his characterization of the children of immigrants and find the comments inexcusable.” [Source]

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho): “I think his comments were irresponsible and reprehensible. I think what he said was out of touch with the conference. There’s nobody in the conference who would say such a thing and I hope that he, if he thought about it, he wouldn’t say such a thing again.” [Source]

Rep. Pet Olson (R-TX): “Everyone has a right to their own opinion, but no one is served by offensive and biased comments.”

“Broadly impugning the character of a whole class of people only signals ignorance of the issues facing us as we tackle immigration reform.”

“Political games and bigotry have no place in congressional debate. The America that I know and love strives to judge people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. We must reject ignorance and bias when we see it.

“Congressman Steve King does not speak for the heart of the Republican Party anymore than he speaks for me. I would hope Congressman King understands the ignorance and hurtfulness of his comments, apologizes now and thinks before he speaks in the future.” [Source]

Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX): “Such inflammatory and hateful comments are out of touch with reality and do nothing to fix our broken system.” [Source]

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC): “the number of people that have Steve King’s precise ideology with respect to immigration is not a sufficient number to derail anything.” [Source]

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart: “From time to time, folks around here say and do things that we all disagree with, the majority of us disagree with. That represents the point of view of one individual.” [Source]

Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA): “@SpeakerBoehner is right. Rep. King’s comments are hurtful & disrespectful. Lone member’s prejudicial statements won’t derail progress!” [Source]

Iowa Republicans Refusing to Condemn Steve King

Gov. Terry Branstad: disagrees with King’s comments, but “has great respect for him”

Sen. Chuck Grassley: silent

Rep. Tom Latham: silent

Sen. Candidate Sam Clovis: silent

Sen. Candidate Matt Whitaker: silent

State Sen. Joni Ernst: silent

Sen. Candidate Mark Jacobs: silent

Sen. Candidate David Young: dodged the question

Senate Candidate Mark Schaben:  silent


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