A History of Steve King’s Racist Remarks

Representative Steve King of Iowa, who was stripped of his House committee seats on Monday night after making remarks defending white supremacy, has a long history of racist comments and insults about immigrants.

Republicans rarely rebuked him until recently, with some suggesting that Mr. King’s language and views were new to them.

“This just popped up on Friday,” Representative Steve Scalise, the second-ranking House Republican, said on Sunday, when asked if the party would penalize Mr. King for saying, in an interview with The Times, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”

National Republicans courted his political support in Iowa: He was a national co-chairman of Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential effort and of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ 2018 election. House leadership appointed him chairman of the subcommittee on the Constitution and civil justice. And President Trump boasted in the Oval Office that he raised more money for Mr. King than for anyone else.

Yet Mr. King, who won a ninth term in November, has publicly promoted white nationalists and neo-Nazis on Twitter and disparaged nonwhite groups for years.

  • Mr. King, in the Iowa State Senate, files a bill requiring schools teach that the United States “is the unchallenged greatest nation in the world and that it has derived its strength from … Christianity, free enterprise capitalism and Western civilization.”

  • Mr. King is the chief sponsor of a law making English the official language of Iowa.

  • Now in Congress, Mr. King introduces the English Language Unity Act, a bill to make English the official language of the United States.

  • Mr. King sues the Iowa Secretary of State for posting voting information on an official website in Spanish, Laotian, Bosnian and Vietnamese.

  • At a rally in Las Vegas, Mr. King calls the deaths of Americans at the hands of undocumented immigrants “a slow-motion Holocaust.” He claims that 25 Americans die daily because of undocumented immigrants, an unsupported and illogical leap from government statistics, which years later influences talking points by President Trump.

  • On the House floor, Mr. King demonstrates a model of a 12-foot concrete border wall topped with electrified wire that he designed: “We need to do a few other things on top of that wall, and one of them being to put a little bit of wire on top here to provide a disincentive for people to climb over the top or put a ladder there. We could also electrify this wire … We do that with livestock all the time.”

Mr. King on the House floor, speaking of how law enforcement officers can spot undocumented immigrants:

What kind of clothes people wear … what kind of shoes people wear, what kind of accent they have … sometimes it’s just a sixth sense they can’t put their finger on.

Mr. King in a speech opposing the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to cover contraception:

Preventing babies being born is not medicine. That’s not constructive to our culture and our civilization. If we let our birthrate get down below the replacement rate, we’re a dying civilization.

On a panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference with Peter Brimelow, an open white nationalist, Mr. King referred to multiculturalism as:

A tool for the Left to subdivide a culture and civilization into our own little ethnic enclaves and pit us against each other.

Mr. King on why he opposes legal status for Dreamers, who were brought into the country as children:

For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert. Those people would be legalized with the same act.

  • Mr. King invites the far-right, anti-Islam Dutch politician Geert Wilders to Washington and appears with him at the Capitol. Mr. Wilders has called Islam “not a religion,” said the Quran was “worse than Mein Kampf,” and called for the closing of mosques.

  • Mr. King tweets a selfie with Mr. Wilders in front of a portrait of Winston Churchill. Mr. Wilders praises Mr. King for having “the guts to speak out.”