Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerThe two-party system is dying — let’s put it out of its misery One year later, neither party can get past last year's election White House strikes back at Bushes over legacy MORE (R-Ohio) called Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingMore than a dozen lawmakers put family on campaign payroll Steve King defends Arpaio: 'I don't agree that profiling is wrong' Steve King to Trump: Bannon is a ‘lynchpin’ MORE (R-Iowa) an “a--hole” last year shortly after King’s disparaging comments about illegal immigrants, according to a Democratic congressman. 

Rep. Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroDems furious over Air Force failure to report Texas shooter's conviction Immigration agents staking out 10-year-old at Texas hospital: report Week ahead in tech: Black Caucus takes diversity push to Silicon Valley MORE (D-Texas) on Friday said Boehner condemned King last July when he alleged that for every young illegal immigrant who becomes a valedictorian, there are 100 with “calves the size of cantaloupes” hauling marijuana across the border.

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After King's comments, Castro, who is of Mexican descent, thanked Boehner on the House floor for publicly admonishing King. “What an a--hole,” Boehner responded, with a shot at King.

Castro said he agreed with the statement. 

Castro, a freshman congressman, disclosed Boehner’s comment in a first-hand essay published Friday in Texas Monthly about his first year in office. He complimented Boehner and shot down the Democratic caricature of Boehner as an “overly tan, overly emotional cat-herder who has lost control of his flock.”

“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 said of the Speaker. 

Castro explained King’s comments by concluding many Republicans lack “diversity in their gerrymandered congressional districts.”

“Simply put, most don’t have enough Hispanics for the issue to really matter to their reelections. A few of the less tactful Republicans seemed to even go out of their way to express disdain for immigrants,” he added.