On Tuesday, Representative Steve Stivers, the National Republican Congressional Committee chairman, became the latest person to drop their support for Steve King, a Republican running re-election in Iowa’s 4th district, who has neo-Nazi ties and consistently makes explicitly racist statements. Representative Stivers tweeted out a statement denouncing King for his “recent comments, actions, and retweets,” calling them “completely inappropriate.” This denouncement comes in the wake of corporations swiftly dropping their support for Representative King, including Land O’ Lakes, Purina, and the technology corporation Intel.
During his time in office, Steve King has defended the Confederate flag and displayed one on his desk, promoted white nationalist politicians globally, and has claimed Claimed that Latinos have “calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.” In the past month alone, Representative King has publicly supported two white nationalist candidates in the United States; said women should not serve in the Marine Corps; and announced that he has been the leader and author of legislation banning birthright citizenship since 2011. He also tweeted this month “America gave Roe (Norma McCorvey of Roe v. Wade) the right to be believed—that she was gang raped. 60 million babies died as a result.” Those are just some of his many offensive actions.America gave Roe (Norma McCorvey of Roe v. Wade) the right to be believed—that she was gang raped. 60 million babies died as a result. America gave Roe (Norma McCorvey of Roe v. Wade) the right to be believed—that she was gang raped. 60 million babies died as a result.
However, the recent denouncement of Steve King by corporations and Rep. Steve Stivers stems from an interview of King that surfaced in August on an Austrian propaganda site in which he declares his belief in the superiority of European culture and makes other white nationalist remarks. He also criticized George Soros, a prominent Democrat financier who was one of 14 recipients of pipe bombs just last week. Since this interview, Democratic challenger J.D. Scholten has called for Republicans to make statements regarding Steve King’s connections to neo-Nazi groups. This tweet on the part of Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) seems to be heeding this call, albeit over a month after the interview was posted.
Steve King is an incumbent candidate, running for his ninth term in the House of Representatives. Although incumbents traditionally have a leg up in elections compared to their challengers, King is only projected to be one point ahead of his opponent J.D. Scholten. With the loss of major donors and public support, King is facing a toss-up election that was previously seen as a home run. There is less than a week until the mid-term elections, and following the anti-Semitic attack at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, politicians have been divided on how to approach the topic of hate crimes and alt-right extremism.
Media Resources: The Washington Post 10/28/18, The Huffington Post 10/30/18, CNN 10/26/18