MSNBC talk-show host Joe Scarborough said it was positive that Republican leaders condemned recent remarks made by Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King about immigration.
"I do think it is significant Republicans are finally, finally, after three, four years of keeping their mouth shut every time something extreme was said, we're finally having leaders speak out. That's important," Scarborough said in a panel discussion Thursday on "Morning Joe."
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His comments focused on King's remarks from a Newsmax interview July 18 where the congressman said some illegal immigrant youths are drug smugglers with "calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert."
"Some of them are valedictorians — and their parents brought them in. It wasn't their fault. It's true in some cases, but they aren't all valedictorians. They weren't all brought in by their parents," King said in the interview.
Prominent Republicans put out statements this week strongly denouncing King's remarks.
"What he said is wrong," House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio said in a statement on Tuesday. "There can be honest disagreements about policy without using hateful language. Everyone needs to remember that."
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia said, "I strongly disagree with his characterization of the children of immigrants and find the comments inexcusable."
On the "Morning Joe" panel, Nicole Wallace, a former communications director for President George W. Bush, held Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida in contrast to King.
Speaking of Rubio's recent attempts on immigration reform, Wallace said, "All Americans saw a prominent, important Republican who was talked about as someone who might run for president, doing his best. Steve King erased any good that Marco Rubio did."
Jim VandeHei, executive editor of Politico, said, "It's these guys that say these crazy things that are routinely getting picked up and have us talking about it, have other people talking about it, and it defines down the Republican Party."
"We're not questioning whether Steve King can get re-elected, we're questioning whether we can ever elect a Republican to the White House again that can nominate Supreme Court justices in our lifetime," Scarborough, a Republican, commented.
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