WASHINGTON ― Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday rebuked Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) over his recent comments to The New York Times in which he questioned why terms such as “white supremacist” and “white nationalist” are considered offensive.
“There is no place in the Republican Party, the Congress or the country for an ideology of racial supremacy of any kind,” McConnell said in a statement. “Rep. King’s statements are unwelcome and unworthy of his elected position. If he doesn’t understand why ‘white supremacy’ is offensive, he should find another line of work.”
McConnell is the latest GOP leader to condemn King, a longtime Iowa lawmaker with a lengthy history of making racist statements. The congressman’s interview with the Times last week appeared to reach a tipping point for many in the GOP ― including the Kentucky senator, who rarely weighs in on news of the day unrelated to Senate business.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King, 69, told the newspaper. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
Some Democrats are pushing for a censure of King on the House floor. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) introduced a resolution Monday afternoon, and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) is expected to introduce a separate resolution.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said on Sunday that he would meet with King on Monday to discuss the veteran lawmaker’s future in the Republican Party.
“Action will be taken,” McCarthy vowed on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
King refused to answer questions from reporters following the meeting with McCarthy on Monday afternoon, however: