A major newspaper in Rep. Steve King’s (R-Iowa) home state just called for his resignation hours after the House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to condemn white supremacy, thus condemning King himself.
“Congressman Steve King should resign,” begins the Des Moines Register’s editorial, published late Tuesday afternoon. “He has lost even the potential to effectively represent his Iowa constituents because of his abhorrent comments about white nationalism and white supremacy.”
The newspaper’s condemnation of King, a white supremacist, is part of the explosive fallout from the representative’s interview with The New York Times last week, in which he openly questioned why people found white supremacy and white nationalism offensive.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King asked the Times. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
The Des Moines Register, a respected newspaper with a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writer, called King’s remark to the Times a “career-ending quote” and slammed the Republican for making a joke of Iowa with his overt racism.
“King has often made Iowa a laughing stock on the national stage with his offensive and absurd remarks about undocumented immigrants, comparing them to dogs or disparaging them as drug mules with calves the size of cantaloupes,” the Register’s editorial board wrote.
The board also noted that King likely wouldn’t take its advice to resign and insisted that he listen to his fellow Republicans instead.
“We don’t expect King to listen to us. But maybe he would listen to [Iowa Sens. Chuck Grassley, Joni Ernst and Gov. Kim Reynolds] and Republicans in his district,” the board wrote. “They should encourage him to step aside for the good of the Republican Party and, more importantly, for the good of Iowa.”
Ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, the Des Moines Register editorial board called on voters to vote King, an incumbent, out of office and endorsed the Democratic candidate instead.
King still won his re-election bid to Iowa’s 4th Congressional District.
Up until this week, Republicans in Congress have remained noticeably silent on King’s open bigotry, despite ongoing reporting from HuffPost’s Chris Mathias on the Iowa representative’s blatant racism, public support for white supremacists and promotion of neo-Nazi views over the years.
The uproar following King’s interview with the Times, which was published last Thursday, appeared to motivate top House Republicans to break that silence. In response to the Times’ story, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Sunday called King “unwelcome and unworthy of his elected position.” Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wy.), the third-ranking Republican in the House, on Tuesday called for him to step down.
Republican leaders stripped King of all of his committee assignments on Monday. On Tuesday, the House voted to pass House Resolution 41, a formal condemnation of white supremacy introduced by Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.).
Even King, whose remarks on white supremacy were written into the bill, voted the pass Resolution 41.
“I want to ask my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, let’s vote for this resolution,” he said. “I’m putting up a yes on the board here because what you say here is right and is true and is just, and so is what I have stated here on the floor of the House.”