How do you solve a problem like Steve King? The Iowa congressman is increasingly becoming a bigger thorn in the Republican party, he’s also losing a lot of corporate support. NBC says:
King, an anti-immigration hard-liner, has come under intense scrutiny for his sharp opposition to diversity in America, which he said is “not a strength.”
He also praised Austria’s Freedom Party, which was founded by a former Nazi SS officer, for its anti-immigration platform and endorsed a candidate running for mayor in Toronto who has espoused white supremacist views.
Video has surfaced from the Greater Des Moines Partnership forum earlier in the week where King took questions from the public. Here’s a question that particularly got under King’s skin.
“Saturday there was a shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh that tragically left 11 people dead and the terrorist who committed this crime, he was quoted as saying they bring invaders in who kill our peple, I can’t sit back and watch our people get slaughtered. You Steve King said have been quoted as saying we can restore our civilization with other people’s babies. You and the shooter both share an ideology that is…”
King cut off the constituent saying, “No don’t you do that, do not associate me with that shooter. I knew you were an ambusher when you walked into the room.” After more back and forth the congressman yelled, “STOP IT, you are done.” (watch the full exchange above).
The person who asked King about Pittsburgh was Kaleb Van Fosson of Ames, a member of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, which held a protest outside the event.
“It is not tolerable to associate me with a guy who shot 11 people in Pittsburgh.” King added. “I am a person who has stood with Israel from the beginning. The length of that nation is the length of my life. I have been with them all along and I will not answer your question.”
When Van Fosson continued to talk and asked King if he identified as a white supremacist, the congressman asked that the man be removed from the room.
Steve King has no problem traveling to Austria to talk with white supremacists, but he won't speak to his own constituents in his district. https://t.co/WNULC6mc2i
— Kaleb Van Fosson (@KalebVanfosson) November 1, 2018
Tanya Keith writes about her experience at the same event saying:
We are supposed to engage with our elected officials. How dare you have your own constituents thrown out of a public forum when they are asking direct questions about your documented actions?
Greater Des Moines Partnership, how dare you allow King to dodge a perfectly reasonable question? You had these two young men thrown out because an elected official threw a fit, and you could not even have the moderator press the question?
This confrontation may mean even more members of King’s own party are abandoning him just days before he is up for re-election. Slate points out:
White nationalist–sympathizing kook Steve King, the longtime congressman from northwestern Iowa, doesn’t have too many friends these days (outside of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.) Companies that have supported him financially are abandoning him after the Tree of Life synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh.
Purina, Intel, and Land O' Lakes ditch support for Rep. Steve King after inflammatory comments https://t.co/RcFfiuzkIk
— Ali Velshi (@AliVelshi) October 31, 2018
The National Republican Congressional Committee says it will not help out King, who has supported far-right causes and white supremacists, in the remaining days of his bid to win re-election to his Iowa 4th District seat against Democratic challenger J.D. Scholten.The NRCC cited King’s “words and actions” for its decision to sit out the race, despite the fact that Republicans in Tuesday’s congressional elections will be hard-pressed to retain their relatively slim majority in the House of Representatives.