WASHINGTON – An apology by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) for having made comments that critics say condone white nationalism and white supremacy has done little to temper bipartisan outrage.
King’s fellow Republicans took to the airwaves Sunday to make it clear such sentiments would not be tolerated in the GOP.
“That language has no place in America,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
McCarthy said “action will be taken,” and that he plans meet with King on Monday.
“There is no place for hate, for bigotry, or anybody who supports that ideology,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) told ABC’s “This Week.”
He added: “It’s evil ideology. We all ought to stand up against it.”
“What Steve King said was stupid. It was stupid. It was hurtful. It was wrong. And he needs to stop it,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told NBC’s Meet the Press.
On Saturday, Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass, a Democrat, urged Republicans to strip King of his committee assignments.
“If Republicans really believe these racist statements have no place in our government, then their party must offer more than shallow temporary statements of condemnation,” Bass (Calif.) said in a statement provided to CNN.
She added: “Instead, they must actually condemn Mr. King by removing him from his committee assignments so that he can no longer affect policies that impact the very people he has made it clear he disdains.”
In an interview published on Thursday, King told The New York Times: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
The remarks drew swift bipartisan condemnation.
King condemned white nationalism and white supremacy in a speech on the House floor on Friday.
“I reject those labels and the evil ideology they define,” he said while reading from a prepared statement that was released the previous day.
King added: “Further, I condemn anyone that supports this evil and bigoted ideology which saw in its ultimate expression the systematic murder of six million innocent Jewish lives.”
King has served in Congress since 2003 and is an outspoken opponent of illegal immigration and multiculturalism. He is no stranger to controversy.