Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) on Tuesday dismissed the public outrage over his recent comments, including that “we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies,” arguing the dustup was overblown.
As the controversy entered its third day, King conceded to “Breitbart News Daily” that he would have offered more context in his original tweet of praise for nationalist Dutch politician Geert Wilders.
“If I were going to change anything — first of all, there’s only 140 characters. So I really don’t know why people hyperventilate over a tweet,” King said before questioning if his critics were “willfully ignorant.”
“But if I had room to add on, I would say, ‘You can’t rebuild your civilization with somebody else’s babies unless you adopt them and bring them into your homes and raise them as your own.’ And that’s the core of that tweet,” he said.
“They’re importing a different culture, a different civilization, and that culture and civilization, the imported one, rejects the host’s culture, and so they are supplanting Western civilization with Middle Eastern civilization.”
King tweeted on Sunday that “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies.”
King’s tweet attached a cartoon of Wilders plugging a hole into a wall with the words “Western Civilization” on it, which has green liquid with the Islamic star and crescent moon pouring through its cracks.
White nationalists including David Duke praised the tweet. Duke wrote on Twitter that "sanity reigns supreme in Iowa's 4th congressional district."
King, who’s served in the House since 2003, drew criticism from a handful of fellow Republicans, including Cuban-American Reps. Carlos Curbelo (Fla.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.), along with Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashDemocrats defend Afghan withdrawal amid Taliban advance Vietnam shadow hangs over Biden decision on Afghanistan Kamala Harris and our shameless politics MORE (R-Mich.), whose parents are Syrian and Palestinian immigrants.
Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJuan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Cheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' Cheney allies flock to her defense against Trump challenge MORE’s (R-Wis.) spokeswoman issued a statement saying “the speaker clearly disagrees and believes America’s long history of inclusiveness is one of its great strengths.”
In an interview with Fox News’s Bret Baier later Monday, Ryan said, “I’d like to think that he misspoke and it wasn’t really meant the way that that sounds, and hopefully he’s clarified that.”
But King doubled down on his comments in interviews on CNN and Fox News on Monday.
“Living in enclaves, refusing to assimilate into the American culture and civilization. Some embrace it, yes. But many are two and three generations living in enclaves that are pushing back now and resisting against the assimilation,” King said on CNN’s “New Day.”
“I’d like to see an America that's just so homogenous that we look a lot the same, from that perspective.”
Also on Tuesday, reports emerged that King had, during a radio interview, pushed on the notion that white Americans would become a demographic minority.
"I predict that Hispanics and the blacks will be fighting each other before that happens," King said on 1040 WHO.