Rep. Steve King’s base of support, including in his home state of Iowa, continues to erode after comments he made appearing to praise white supremacy were published in the New York Times.
The latest salvo came as the Sioux City Journal, a conservative newspaper in Iowa’s Fourth District that had previously endorsed the Republican congressman, called on him to resign. “It’s hard for us to summon words that will properly convey how repugnant we view that remark,” said the paper in response to King asking, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” earlier this month.
“Constituents deserve better and more from the man or woman we send to represent us in Washington, D.C.,” wrote the Journal’s editorial board. “If he cares deeply about citizens of the 4th, and we believe he does, King should do what is in their best interests and step down from office.”
King defeated Democratic challenger J.D. Scholten by 3.7 percent in November’s race, surviving controversy over his endorsement of a declared white supremacist in Toronto’s mayoral race and a meeting with an Austrian group associated with neo-Nazism.
Joining the Journal in its call for a resignation was the Des Moines Register, which wrote that King “has lost even the potential to effectively represent his Iowa constituents because of his abhorrent comments about white nationalism and white supremacy.”
“King has often made Iowa a laughing stock on the national stage with his offensive and absurd remarks about undocumented immigrants, comparing them to dogs or disparaging them as drug mules with calves the size of cantaloupes,” wrote the Register’s editorial board. Des Moines is not located in King’s district.
“I think he should find another line of work,” said Rep. Liz Cheney, the third-ranking Republican in the House, on Tuesday. “His language questioning whether or not the notion of white supremacy is offensive is absolutely abhorrent, it’s racist, we do not support it or agree with it.”