Up to 40 Republican congressmen want to erase Barack Obama's term in office, marking a dangerous trend of lawmakers demonizing a president because he's from a different party, Rep. Peter King of New York said.
King, a Republican, acknowledged the issue to MSNBC's Chris Matthews on "Hardball."
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Matthews raised the question: "I've had members — they know who they are — they say, 'I really can't say with my lips that this man, Barack Obama, was legitimately elected president.'
"They choke on that," Matthews continued. "How many are there in the Congress on your side that represent that sort of rejectionist front? 'We don't like this guy. We don't like anything with his name on it. We want him to get out of here, erase his record as if he were never here.'"
"I would say there are 30 or 40 like that," King answered, "as there were a number of Democrats who felt that way about George W. Bush, and going back to when you and I first met, Republicans who felt that way about Bill Clinton."
"This is a very dangerous aspect to our government," King said, "the fact that we have people who are willing to demonize the president of the United States because he's from a different party."
It's a problem on both sides of the aisle, King stressed.
"When George Bush was there, you had Democrats who had this Bush obsession, and now, obviously, with President Obama, it's definitely there, no doubt about it," he said.
King has been critical of those in the GOP, especially Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas,
who have supported shutting down the government as a way to defund Obamacare. King said Monday on CNN, that he "can never forgive Ted Cruz" for leading the effort.
Earlier on in the Matthews interview, King said that although the government shut down was "a fool's errand that was started by Ted Cruz," the Texas senator wasn't the only one to blame. He said "30 or 40 of them who stood with him."
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