Former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) came to the defense of Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) in a World Net Daily editorial published late last week, denouncing conservatives who have publicly voiced disapproval of King's remarks on undocumented students.
King came under fire earlier this month after telling Newsmax TV that for every undocumented immigrant "who's a valedictorian, there's another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds -- and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 points of marijuana across the desert."
King's comments have drawn bipartisan criticism, including from GOP leadership. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) urged fellow lawmakers to pursue "honest disagreements about policy without using hateful language" in a statement released last week, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) similarly characterized King's comments as "inexcusable."
King stood by his comments in a recent appearance on CNN's "AC360," telling Wolf Blitzer he didn't say "the vast majority of those who would come in here are drug smugglers" and that Republican lawmakers didn't see his complete remarks.
In his op-ed, titled "Dreams And Nightmares: Steve King Is Right Again," Tancredo joined King in scoffing at his bipartisan critics.
"The exact words Rep. King used ... are easy to criticize," he said. "But King’s substantive point is demonstrably true. There are in fact far more drug smugglers (and other criminals) than future valedictorians among the nearly 2 million youthful illegal aliens who would qualify for the 'Dream' amnesty."
"It is disgusting to see Republican leaders joining this lynch mob," he added.
Tancredo went on to assert that King could not fairly be considered a "racist demagogue" unless there are "more than 1,000 valedictorians among the 1.7 million illegal aliens who will be granted legal status and eventual citizenship by the Dream Act." However, The Atlantic Wire notes that the math he did to get to this number "doesn't add up" and that the congressman never cites sources for his estimations.
Correction: A previous version of this story listed Tancredo as a current congressman. He left office in January 2009.