According to Democrat congressman Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) called conservative Rep. Steve King (R-IA) an “asshole” for opposing amnesty.
Castro made the revelation in a lengthy article he wrote about his short time in Congress for Texas Monthly. Castro said it came after he thanked Boehner for denouncing King for his comments on illegal alien youth working to smuggle drugs into the United States. Castro added that he agrees with Boehner’s assessment.
“The Democratic caricature of the speaker is that he’s an overly tan, overly emotional cat-herder who has lost control of his flock, but in person, he comes across as approachable and down-to-earth, and you can see how he earned the trust of his colleagues and became their leader,” Castro wrote.
On a day not too long after Boehner’s political body check of Rep. Steve King (R-IA) for his immigration comments, the speaker was milling around the aisle walkway in the middle section of the House floor where the Democratic and Republican territories meet. Another Texas Democrat and I were standing a few feet away, and as the speaker passed us we thanked him for denouncing King’s offensive comments. He slowed his stride and then paused to turn toward us. “What an asshole,” he said. My thoughts exactly, Mr. Speaker.
This past summer, in an interview with NewsMax published in July, Rep. King made a comment about young illegal aliens that was criticized by the left-wing media, House GOP leadership, and the Obama administration.
“Some of them are valedictorians–and their parents brought them in,” King argued. “It wasn’t their fault. It’s true in some cases, but they aren’t all valedictorians. They weren’t all brought in by their parents.”
“For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds–and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert,” King added in the interview. “Those people would be legalized with the same act.”
Figures from across the political establishment seized the opportunity to attack King’s credibility on immigration issues. Almost immediately, House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), a lawmaker who is writing a bill called the KIDS Act, which would grant amnesty to illegal alien youths, scolded King. “I strongly disagree with his characterization of the children of immigrants and find the comments inexcusable,” Cantor said at the time.
Seconds later, Boehner chimed in to back up Cantor’s attacks. “There can be honest disagreements about policy without using hateful language,” Boehner said in a statement. “Everyone needs to remember that.”
Boehner went even further at a press conference, suggesting King does not belong in the Republican Party. “I want to be clear. There’s no place in this debate for hateful or ignorant comments from elected officials,” Boehner said at the press conference. “What he said does not reflect the values of the American people or the Republican Party, and we all need to do our work in a constructive, open and respectful way.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney helped pile on, saying King’s comments “certainly don’t help any efforts by Republicans to improve their standing among Hispanic Americans, I would assume.”
House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) helped Democrats like Carney and establishment Republicans like Boehner and Cantor attack King as well.
“Rep. King’s remarks I disagree with and disavow,” Ryan said at the time. “They were wrong. And they should be said as such.”
At the time, Breitbart News detailed how King’s statements were factually accurate. Media outlets from the Christian Science Monitor to local news outlets in San Diego to the Associated Press to Fox News Latino have confirmed in their reporting what King said: illegal alien minors have been used by drug cartels to smuggle drugs into the United States.
Then, just a few short weeks ago, more news broke on a case in which illegal aliens were arrested at the border–including two seventeen-year-olds, a sixteen-year-old and a twelve-year-old–all carrying large loads of marijuana, presumably for the Mexican drug cartels. The reports prompted the Dallas Morning News, which was one of the major newspapers to issue a searing editorial against Rep. King for the comments, to publicly consider issuing a formal apology to King for its attack on his accurate remarks.
“In view of this, do we here at The News have a responsibility to amend the record?” editorial writer Rodger Jones wrote in response to the overwhelming new evidence that illegal alien youths are in fact smuggling drugs into the United States. “This incident shows that youthful drug mules remain at work on the border, despite our assertion that the notion is based in stereotypes. It comes down to the math. Would we claim that King’s 100-1 ratio is merely way wide of the mark? If we went there, wouldn’t we be obligated to find some valedictorians to prove it?”
Weeks ago, Breitbart News reached out to Boehner’s, Cantor’s, and Ryan’s offices, among others, to see if–like the Dallas Morning News–they would apologize to King for attacking his comments and retract their disparaging remarks. Boehner, Cantor, and all others have not responded, with the exception of Ryan’s spokesman. “Congressman Ryan stands by his earlier comments regarding Congressman King’s remarks,” Kevin Seifert, Ryan’s spokesman, told Breitbart News, in early January.
Similarly, Boehner’s office has not responded to a request from Breitbart News on Castro’s revelation that he called King an “asshole” in communication with a Democrat. Boehner’s office has not responded to other major media outlets as well, as Politico noted in its writeup of the “asshole” saga that Boehner’s office “did not provide a comment for this report.”
King responded to the revelation that Boehner called him an “asshole” by firing back, word-for-word, with what Boehner said about him and the illegal alien youth drug smuggling comments:
There can be honest disagreements about policy without using hateful language. Everyone needs to remember that. I want to be clear. There’s no place in this debate for hateful or ignorant comments from elected officials. What he said does not reflect the values of the American people or the Republican Party, and we all need to do our work in a constructive, open and respectful way.