House GOP leaders are condemning Rep. Steve King’s (R-IA) recent controversial remarks on rape and incest, calling them “wrong and offensive.”
King spoke to the Westside Conservative Club Wednesday and attempted to use rape and incest’s role in human history to argue in favor of his pro-life legislation, which excludes exceptions for such.
“What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled out anyone who was a product of rape or incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?” King said, according to the Des Moines Register.
“Considering all the wars and all the rapes and pillages that happened throughout all these different nations, I know that I can’t say that I was not a part of a product of that,” he continued.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reacted to King’s remark during an appearance on Fox News Wednesday, telling Bret Baier that it affirms that the House GOP made the right decision by stripping King of committee assignments following controversial remarks made to the New York Times earlier this year.
“He [King] said that humanity might not exist at all if not for rape and incest throughout human history,” Bair said. “If you pulled out a product of rape or incest, would there be any population of the world left if we did that? You have any problem with that construction?”
“I have a great deal of problems with that,” McCarthy said. “This isn’t the first time I’ve had concerns of what Steve King has said. Earlier in this Congress, there are things that Steve King said that I do not believe the party of Lincoln would stand for.”
“And as a – as a United Conference, we actually removed Steve King from his committees inside Congress, and I think this just continues to show why that action was taken,” he added.
“These comments are wrong, and offensive, and underscore why we removed him from his committees,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) told Politico.
“Today’s comments by @RepSteveKingIA are appalling and bizarre. As I’ve said before, it’s time for him to go, ” Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) tweeted. “The people of Iowa’s 4th congressional district deserve better.”
Today’s comments by @RepSteveKingIA are appalling and bizarre. As I’ve said before, it’s time for him to go. The people of Iowa’s 4th congressional district deserve better.
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) August 14, 2019
“I am 100% pro-life but Steve King’s bizarre comments and behavior diminish our message & damage our cause,” King’s Republican challenger, Iowa state Sen. Randy Feenstra, tweeted in part.
I am 100% pro-life but Steve King's bizarre comments and behavior diminish our message & damage our cause. Trump needs defenders in Congress, not distractions. I will ensure we win this seat & I'll be an effective conservative leader in Congress. #IA04 https://t.co/x8M58B0gh0
— Randy Feenstra (@RandyFeenstra) August 14, 2019
Many Democrats are demanding King’s removal from Congress:
Rep. Steve King should resign. His comments on rape and incest have no place in Congress and fuel a corrosive culture in this country around sexual assault.
We deserve better from our elected officials. https://t.co/QRXM3nUP8s
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 15, 2019
Iowans have long deserved better than Steve King and his hateful, insulting words. He should resign.
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) August 14, 2019
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) August 14, 2019
Steve King is a racist, a misogynist and a disgrace to the country. He should not be a member of the United States Congress. https://t.co/QZbXSEFpdw
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) August 14, 2019
My friend @JDScholten is standing up and fighting back against Steve King, and he needs all of our help — because no matter where you live, you know there’s no place for Steve King’s racism, bigotry, and hatred in Congress.
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 14, 2019
This is incredibly cruel & disrespectful to survivors. Steve King & his values, his rhetoric, & his disdain for decency is a far cry from the Iowa I know. He doesn’t represent who we are & he continues to be an embarrassment to our state & federal delegation #ia01 https://t.co/nQ6L7ZKRRG
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) August 14, 2019
Staying quiet is not enough.
— Debbie Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets) August 15, 2019
Iowans are kind, decent, and welcoming people. Steve King doesn’t deserve the honor of representing them, and they deserve much better than Steve King. Let’s help replace him with someone who is as decent as they are. Join me in supporting @JDScholten: https://t.co/HNtMQFvEgI https://t.co/MyfcK8Qvef
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) August 15, 2019
Update: This article has removed a quotation attributed to King: “It’s not the baby’s fault for the sin of the father, or of the mother,” which originated in the Des Moines Register. The paper has since issued a correction, revealing that its transcription was inaccurate. The full quote from King reads: “I’ve got 174 people [colleagues in the House of Represenatives] who say they don’t want exceptions for rape and incest [in a potential abortion ban] because they understand it is not the baby’s fault, to abort the baby, because of the sin of the father, and maybe sometimes the sin of the mother too.”