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King: 30 to 40 GOP lawmakers refuse to admit legitimacy of Obama’s presidency

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) said Tuesday that there are about 30 to 40 Republicans in Congress who refuse to recognize the legitimacy of Obama’s presidency and are seeking to erase everything that’s happened during his administration.

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King made the remarks in a discussion with Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s "Hardball," after the host asked how many Republicans would like to “erase [Obama’s] record, as if he was never here.”

“I’ve had members, they know who they are, they say, ‘I really can’t say with these lips that this man, Barack Obama, was elected president,’” Matthews said. “They choke on that. How many are there in Congress on your side that represent that rejectionist front?”

“I would say there are probably 30 or 40 who are like that,” King responded. “As there were a number of Democrats who felt that way about George W. Bush, and going back to when you and I first met, Republicans who felt that way about Bill Clinton.”

King has been one of the most vocal opponents in his party to the GOP strategy of tying ObamaCare to the resolution to fund the government. He’s openly criticized Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who has led the defunding campaign, as a “fraud,” and on Monday sought to orchestrate a “moderate rebellion” in the House to continue funding the government.

“This is a very dangerous aspect to our government,” King said. “The fact that we have people who are willing to demonize the president of the United States because he’s from a different party.”

“With President Obama, it’s definitely there, no doubt about it,” he added.