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Rep. Steve King: If Trump or Cruz Isn’t Nominated ‘Could Be the End of the Republican Party’

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Rep. Steve King, who supports Senator Ted Cruz in the GOP primary, tells Breitbart News Daily host Stephen K. Bannon that when it comes to the coming GOP convention, “If they’re maneuvering now to undermine their own rules to move a third candidate into this, I think it could split this party and it could split this party so deeply that it could be the end of the Republican Party.”

King was responding to a question about a contested convention, adding, “It’s hard to say definitively that if we go to convention and it’s not Trump or Cruz that everything blows up but I can see where that can be the case and maybe even where it should be the case.”

King said the establishment doesn’t write the rules out of altruism but from self -interest and if the rules don’t give them what they want, they can and will re-write them.

King said he is “still stunned” at the level of support being given to outsider candidates like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

There’s more frustration, there’s more anger, there’s more disgust than I had my finger on and I’m generally out there where I pick it up ahead  of a lot of them. So, this is a true phenomenon in American politics and American culture. They have been, I don’t know if I want to say lied to so many times, but people haven’t followed through on their promises. The first, win a majority in the House of Representatives and we’ll repeal Obamacare. Then we were denied that by Eric Cantor and John Boehner and they’re gone now. And that majority is solid in the House of Representatives. We have voted multiple times to repeal Obamacare but we needed a majority in the Senate. Now, we have that majority in the Senate and we still haven’t repealed Obamacare. There’s been a barrier in place to do things that might strengthen the rule of law on immigration. There’s been an intense resistance to calling the President out on his Constitutional violations of all kinds and that’s from Republicans who don’t want to challenge this President.

“When the President violates the Constitution”, added King:

It’s the obligation of the House and the Senate to call him out on it and to use the Constitutional tools to restrain a lawless president. And because we didn’t stand on those Constitutional principles – you don’t hear that very much in the dialogue out there – but I think that’s at the core. If Congress isn’t tough enough to use the power of the purse when the president is Constitutionally out of line, then they lose faith in their government and they’re saying, alright, even if we have to turn the bull into the china closet, we’ll clean up the mess afterwards and start from scratch, or pick up any pieces unbroken and them to work. That’s part of the attitude that’s out there and it’s in much bigger numbers than I thought it would be. I think that’s a lot of the attraction.

“This is the time to restore and refurbish the pillars of American exceptionalism and if we fail, our Constitution will be lost,” he concluded.

As for Sen Ted Cruz, King said he has been watching Cruz’s career for years, even as a litigator before the Supreme Court, given King’s role on the  Judiciary Committee, “I watched his career as he emerged. He was just bursting through all the barriers and a rising start. It was easy to see the level of brilliance he has and what Dershowitz says, that he’s the most brilliant student he’s ever had. That says something.”

As for the now infamous Gang of Eight immigration bill, King said he was looking for a way to get a debate to kill off the amnesty bill, so he called an outdoor all-day press conference and Sen Cruz was the only member of the Senate to attend. “He stepped up … for forty-five minutes he delivered chapter and verse of everything that I have fought for and believed in with regard to the immigration issue. That’s when I knew that he wasn’t one who was calculating and moving and dancing around criticism and worrying about his political career. It was his convictions … and it’s been the case ever since.”

King said Cruz has a “deep, deep conviction” and “an utter clarity” on the immigration issue. “Ted Cruz is made of the good stuff and I’m very eager to see him in the Oval Office where our values from the Right side of the aisle would be expressed in every decision,” he added.

King said he “had no concerns” about Cruz’s position during the Gang of Eight debate “So, it was a surprise to me to see Marco Rubio bring the issue up and take the position … that there was very little difference between his position and Ted Cruz’s. It was one-hundred and eighty degrees different.”

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Listen to the full interview below:


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