Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerWe need more congressional oversight on matters of war A warning to Ryan’s successor: The Speakership is no cakewalk With Ryan out, let’s blow up the process for selecting the next Speaker MORE (R-Ohio) called Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingIrish Senate honors Iowa journalist for Pulitzer after Iowa Senate refuses Volkswagen has not cleaned up its act, time for Congress to step in Orbán declares victory in Hungary elections 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 CastroRepublican lawmaker introduces new cyber deterrence bill Lawmakers discuss Latino education gap The foreign policy case for decriminalizing abortion in El Salvador 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.