Boehner, Cantor Criticize Steve King After Newsmax Interview on Immigration

Wednesday, 24 Jul 2013 05:59 AM

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Republican leaders blasted Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, whose criticism of young, illegal immigrants in an exclusive Newsmax interview were read aloud during a Congressional hearing Tuesday.

In an interview with Newsmax last week, Steve King said "for every one who's a valedictorian, there's another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert."

King's comments surfaced in a hearing by a House panel that was specifically convened to examine the issue of legalization for young undocumented immigrants, commonly referred to as DREAMers.

See the entire interview below.


Obamacare: Massive New Rules Revealed for 2013

As the remarks and video were copied onto several prominent political blogs, Republican leaders sought to distance themselves from King's controversial remarks.

"What he said is wrong," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio,  said in a statement on Tuesday. "There can be honest disagreements about policy without using hateful language. Everyone needs to remember that."

“I strongly disagree with his characterization of the children of immigrants and find the comments inexcusable,” Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., added in a statement.

And South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy argued that "the number of people that have Steve King's precise ideology with respect to immigration is not a sufficient number to derail anything."

In the Newsmax interview, King specifically took on fellow Republicans who label him as "anti-immigrant."

"There isn't anyone that can fairly characterize me as anti-immigrant," the Iowa Republican told Newsmax. "That's a label that the open-borders people have tossed around. They're conflating the terms anti-illegal immigrant and anti-immigrant as if it were the terms healthcare and health insurance.

"They did that in order to pass Obamacare. Now, they're conflating anti-immigrant with anti-illegal immigration to pass amnesty."

In the hearing, Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., criticized the remarks as “inflammatory” and “offensive,” Politico reported. The freshman Democrat read King’s comments out loud, noting that he has met several valedictorians in his southern Florida district who are undocumented.

“When members of this committee – when members of this House – use inflammatory language, use offensive language, it does not help the progress,” Garcia said. He later added that comments such as King’s are “beneath the dignity of this body and this country.”

When King took the microphone for his opening remarks – immediately after Garcia – he declined to respond.

Obamacare: Massive New Rules Revealed for 2013

Here's the interview. Tell us what you think.





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