Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLobbying World Freedom Caucus wants budget reforms attached to debt limit increase Trey Gowdy announces retirement from Congress MORE (R-Ohio) called Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingTrump’s assault on immigrant children must stop Fractured GOP struggles with immigration strategy 'Release the memo' — let's stop pretending that Democrats are the defenders of the FBI 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 CastroCrowded primaries loom in Texas House races Gold Star father attacked by Trump steps up role in Dem primaries Trump’s border wall becomes flashpoint in shutdown fight 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.