Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King added to his growing canon of anti-immigrant and racist remarks over the weekend with an incendiary tweet that concluded, “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”
Along with the comment, King also retweeted an endorsement of Dutch prime minister candidate Geert Wilders, who has compared Islam to Nazism. If elected, Wilders promised to close all the mosques and ban the sale of the Quran.
King, who serves on the House Judiciary Committee, drew fire from Republicans and Democrats over the weekend but doubled down on his comments Monday morning on CNN where he said, “I’d like to see an America that’s so homogenous that we look a lot the same.” King said that he wasn’t being racist because “it’s the culture, not the blood.”
King’s Republican colleague Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida, whose parents came from Cuba, tweeted back at King:
And Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California, who was born in Taiwan, also tweeted back.
King has a long history of making racist remarks that often impugn immigrants and raise the specter of white nationalism. King infamously referenced “illegal immigrants” with “calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.” Even so, he easily won reelection last November with over 60 percent of the vote.
King has also been an avid supporter of Wilders and other leaders of the burgeoning far-right and populist movements in Europe, such as France’s Marine Le Pen, whom he met with last month. These movements have gained traction partly as a result of their opposition to letting refugees and other immigrants into Europe.
King’s comments weren’t universally panned, however. David Duke, the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, tweeted his solidarity with King with the hashtag #TruthRISING.