Steve King challenger: 'Rape and incest' comments don't reflect Iowan values

J.D. Scholten, a Democrat challenging Iowa Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingSteve King says 'left-wing media' and GOP leadership owe him apology after rape, incest comments 11 Essential reads you missed this week I'm not a Nazi, I'm just a dude: What it's like to be the other Steve King MORE (R) in 2020, slammed the congressman's Wednesday remarks in which he questioned whether there would be "any population of the world left" if not for rape and incest as contrary to Iowan values. 

“Yet again, Steve King puts his selfish, hateful ideology above the needs of the people of Iowa’s 4th district. Excusing violence — in any way — is entirely unacceptable," Scholten said in a statement Wednesday. 

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"Here in Iowa, we stand strong together in the face of violence, and strive to create a welcoming and safe community for all people," he added. "His comments are disrespectful to survivors and don’t reflect Iowan values. We stand for bringing all people together and fighting for the positive change that we desperately need here in Iowa.”

King's Wednesday comment came during a speech in Urbandale, Iowa, in which he defended anti-abortion legislation he sponsored that did not include exceptions for rape or incest, according to The Des Moines Register

"What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled out anyone who was a product of rape or incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?" King told a crowd at the Westside Conservative Club. “Considering all the wars and all the rapes and pillages that happened throughout all these different nations, I know that I can't say that I was not a part of a product of that."

King, known for his controversial statements on immigration, earlier this year received backlash and was stripped of his committee assignments after questioning in a New York Times interview how terms like "white supremacist" and "white nationalist" became "offensive." 

Scholten is again running to unseat King in Iowa's 4th District after losing to the Republican 50.4 percent to 47 percent in 2018.