WASHINGTON ― His own party’s campaign chairman called him a white supremacist. The Republican governor of his home state, whose re-election he’d supported, said he should reconsider his life choices.
But after the narrowest re-election of his career, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said he’s still getting plenty of love on Capitol Hill.
“I’ve got colleagues coming up to me all the time I’ve been here this week going, ‘Man, I’m so glad you were able to withstand that. You didn’t deserve that. We know you,’” King said Friday after the House wrapped up its last vote of the week.
King has been making racist statements much of his career, such as his 2013 claim that many Mexican immigrants “have calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”
High-profile Republicans have rebuked King over the years, but the tension escalated over the summer.
In June, King retweeted a Nazi sympathizer. In August, he gave an interview to an Austrian website affiliated with a far-right party, in which he lamented the “Great Replacement” of white Americans and Europeans with “somebody else’s babies.”
“What does this diversity bring that we don’t already have?” he said. “Mexican food, Chinese food, those things, well, that’s fine, but what does it bring that we don’t have that is worth the price?”
In October, he endorsed a Canadian mayoral candidate who is a white supremacist.
As King’s racist antics piled up, the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee revoked its support for his campaign.
“Congressman Steve King’s recent comments, actions, and retweets are completely inappropriate,” NRCC chairman Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) said in an Oct. 30 Tweet. “We must stand up against white supremacy and hate in all forms, and I strongly condemn this behavior.”
The condemnations don’t rattle King. Earlier this month he called immigrants “dirt.” On Friday, he said the furor over his words and actions is nothing but a fake news “feeding frenzy” and that most of his colleagues support him.
A spokesperson for the NRCC did not respond to a request for comment.