Rep. Steve King finds constituent support in midst of latest controversy

By  | 

HARRISON COUNTY, Iowa (WOWT) -- Rep. Steve King, Iowa's 4th District Congressman, wasn’t answering questions Wednesday as top politicians in Washington — on both sides of the aisle — were calling for his job after he once again ignited a firestorm with controversial comments.

The Republican representing Western Iowa sidestepped reporters' questions, but as the turbulence continued to churn, King continued to find support among his constituents.

During a stop in Urbandale, King said:

“What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled those people out that were products of rape and incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that? Considering all the wars and all the rape and pillage that has taken place? And whatever happened to culture after society, I know that I can't certify that I am not a part of the product of that."

6 News spoke with some voters in Harrison County about King’s comments who said they still support King, but wished he would select his words a little more wisely.

“I support what he's done in Congress, and I support his conservative values," said Denise York of Missouri Valley. "But what he said about rape and incest like that is not appropriate."

King's comments on rape and incest in human history are the latest in a line of public statements to spark controversy.

Earlier this year, he was rebuked by the House of Representatives and removed from House committees after saying in an interview that "White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?" King fired back by issuing a statement calling the move an assault on the freedom of speech.

His campaign also came under criticism in 2018 for a post about Parkland survivor Emma Gonzalez; and in 2016, he asked how "other subgroups of people" have contributed as much to society as white people.

“I think he really does need to censor what he has to say," York said.

But she said she doesn't think King's words will prevent him from being re-elected for a ninth time.

King was re-elected in 2018 by his narrowest margin yet, just 3% of the vote over Democratic challenger J.D. Scholten. Scholten announced last week he will challenge King again in 2020.

Scholten responded to the Congressman's latest remarks on Twitter, where he and several Democratic presidential candidates urged people to contribute to Scholten's campaign.


Correction: A previous version of this story had an incorrect timeframe reference for King's 2016 comments. 6 News regrets the error.