Representative Steve King (R-Iowa), who gave an interview to a neo-fascist website in which he espoused a far-right conspiracy theory about the “great replacement” of white culture, was condemned Tuesday by a leader of his own party as endorsing white supremacy.
“Congressman Steve King’s recent comments, actions, and retweets are completely inappropriate. We must stand up against white supremacy and hate in all forms, and I strongly condemn this behavior,” said Representative Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), chair of the House Republicans’ campaign arm.
Congressman Steve King’s recent comments, actions, and retweets are completely inappropriate. We must stand up against white supremacy and hate in all forms, and I strongly condemn this behavior.
— Steve Stivers (@RepSteveStivers) October 30, 2018
King’s interview with an Austrian white nationalist propaganda platform and his cozy relationship with the country’s Freedom Party (which was founded by a former Nazi SS officer) are just the tip of a large, white iceberg of political views.
King tweeted support for a candidate for Mayor of Toronto who has asked if Canada faces a “white genocide,” keeps a confederate flag on his desk and said that Obama’s election would be a win in the War on Terror for al Qaeda.
Butter giant Land O’Lakes is pulling its support of King’s campaign citing that he is not a “positive force” and doesn’t share their company’s values. Purina, a pet food company, also stopped their support of King Tuesday.
Our PAC contributions are typically made to elected officials from both parties who represent the local communities where we have operations and associates. Representative King’s recent statements are in conflict with our values and we are no longer contributing to his campaign.
— Purina (@Purina) October 30, 2018
Both Purina and Stivers called attention to King’s recent behavior, but there’s nothing recent about King’s white supremacy other than the media’s attention.
King started channeling white nationalism as a campaign tool back in 2014, when he seemingly stumbled into it. Only a year later he was a star among white nationalist Republicans and his endorsement was fought over by Presidential candidates. In 2016, he led an opposition to the effort to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, and he celebrated Trump’s inauguration with Austria’s Freedom Party in 2017.
King has also said that members of the Freedom Party — which, again, was founded by a Nazi — would be Republicans if they were American.
The only thing that’s really “recent” about King’s white nationalism is that it isn’t working for him anymore. While King typically secures his seat in Congress by wide margins, the recent attention on his racism has started to cost him. He currently leads his Democratic opponent by only one point in polls.
“He’s so openly racist, and I find that very abhorrent,” said Raymond Beebe, one of King’s constituents and a lifelong Republican voter. “I’m tired of the embarrassment.”
Next Tuesday, King will find out just how many Raymond Beebes his district has.
Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor and senior legal reporter for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.