Democrat Matt Campbell said the man he hopes to unseat, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), practices "modern day McCarthyism."
"He's done virtually nothing since being in office other than provide a lot of negative divisive rhetoric," Campbell told the crowd at the 33rd annual Harkin Steak Fry in Indianola, Iowa on Sunday.
Campbell told the crowd of Democrats he wanted to "give Steve King the boot" as some supporters held up their own boots in support as they cheered. Campbell said he disagreed with King on issues such as raising the Social Security age and installing a national sales tax -- which Campbell asserted would hurt the middle class.
Before Campbell even began his speech, the crowd called out "we want to see a debate!"
Campbell said King thinks "he's above American democracy" by refusing to debate an opponent. He added it wasn't about whether Campbell earned a debate, it was about whether the voters in Iowa's fifth district deserve it. He later told the Huffington Post he was unsure of doing the "empty-chair routine" as candidates in other races have suggested.
King has celebrated the support among House Republicans and national figures like Newt Gingrich for H.R. 4972, a bill to completely repeal every aspect of the 2010 health care reform.
Campbell said full repeal is not going to happen.
"People recognize there's great rights in there such as being able to keep kids on insurance until age 26, not having prohibitions on pre-existing conditions precluding health care insurance, prohibitions on lifetime caps," Campbell said. He believes voters just need more information about the legislation as it takes effect.
Campbell told the Huffington Post he thought his district sided with the Bush administration in the past, especially among national security issues. He said as wars become less of a focal point issue in the election season, voters are beginning to take more notice of the "extremist" statements King makes.
When King made the statement "The president has demonstrated that he has a default mechanism in him that breaks down the side of race that favors the black person" on G. Gordon Liddy's radio show in June, the Sioux City Journal asked if it would be the Congressman's undoing.