House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy condemned Rep. Steve King’s comments about white supremacy on Thursday evening.
“Everything about white supremacy and white nationalism goes against who we are as a nation,” McCarthy said in response to comments King made earlier in the day. “Steve’s language is reckless, wrong, and has no place in our society. The Declaration of Independence states that ‘all men are created equal.’ That is a fact. It is self-evident.”
King’s comments came during a New York Times profile of the Iowa Congressman titled, “Before Trump, Steve King Set the Agenda for the Wall and Anti-Immigrant Politics.” (RELATED: Steve King Wants To Know How ‘White Supremacist’ Became Offensive)
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King asked, according to the story. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
King released a statement following the backlash.
My statement on the New York Times article. pic.twitter.com/IjBHgZYgRD
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) January 10, 2019
“Today, the New York Times is suggesting that I am an advocate for white nationalism and white supremacy. I want to make one thing abundantly clear; I reject those labels and the evil ideology that they define,” it read in part. “Further, I condemn anyone that supports this evil and bigoted ideology which saw in its ultimate expression the systematic murder of 6 million innocent Jewish lives.”
He has been accused of being a white supremacist in the past. He endorsed a Toronto mayoral candidate who was fired from a Canadian far-right website for appearing on a neo-Nazi podcast.
King ended up squeaking out a three-point victory in the Republican stronghold back in November, his lowest margin since he was first elected in 2002.
He is expected to face a tough primary from Republican Iowa State Sen. Randy Feenstra, who announced his intentions to challenge King in Iowa’s fourth district earlier this week.