Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerPelosi allies rage over tactics of opponents Meet the lawyer Democrats call when it's recount time McCarthy defeats Jordan for minority leader in 159-to-43 vote MORE (R-Ohio) called Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingIowa governor: Steve King needs to decide if he wants to represent ‘the values of the 4th District’ Conservative magazine posts recording of King using derogatory language against immigrants How Steve King turned his back on states’ rights for Big Ag 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 CastroCastro takes steps toward likely 2020 bid Intocable to perform free concert for Beto O'Rourke rally White House responds to Joaquin Castro's Kushner allegations: 'an outrageous slanderous lie' 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.