Speaker John Boehner was not happy with Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King last year, after King said that many of the so-called “DREAMers” were drug mules, according to an essay by Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro.
During the immigration debate that never really began in the House, King opined that for every DREAMer who was “a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”
Boehner publicly condemned the statement, saying, “I want to be clear, there is no place in this debate for hateful or ignorant comments from elected officials.”
“Earlier this week, Rep. Steve King made comments that were, I think, deeply offensive and wrong,” he went on. “What he said does not reflect the values of the American people or the Republican Party. We all need to do our work in a constructive open and respectful way. As I’ve said many times, we can disagree without being disagreeable.”
But his negative feelings apparently ran a bit deeper than that.
Rep. Castro, in a first person account of his first year in congress for Texas Monthly, said Boehner did not hold his tongue after the incident.
The Democratic caricature of the speaker is that he’s an overly tan, overly emotional cat-herder who has lost control of his flock, but in person, he comes across as approachable and down-to-earth, and you can see how he earned the trust of his colleagues and became their leader. On a day not too long after Boehner’s political body check of Steve King for his immigration comments, the speaker was milling around the aisle walkway in the middle section of the House floor where the Democratic and Republican territories meet. Another Texas Democrat and I were standing a few feet away, and as the speaker passed us we thanked him for denouncing King’s offensive comments. He slowed his stride and then paused to turn toward us. “What an asshole,” he said. My thoughts exactly, Mr. Speaker.
UPDATE: King responded to The Daily Caller’s request for comment Friday afternoon.
“There can be honest disagreements about policy without using hateful language,” King said. “Everyone needs to remember that. I want to be clear. There’s no place in this debate for hateful or ignorant comments from elected officials. What he said does not reflect the values of the American people or the Republican Party, and we all need to do our work in a constructive, open and respectful way.”