GOP campaign chief: Steve King’s comments, actions and retweets ‘completely inappropriate’
Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), the head of the GOP campaign arm in the House, condemned Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) for his remarks that supported white nationalist politicians.
“Congressman Steve King’s recent comments, actions, and retweets are completely inappropriate. We must stand up against white supremacy and hate in all forms, and I strongly condemn this behavior,” Stivers tweeted
Congressman Steve King’s recent comments, actions, and retweets are completely inappropriate. We must stand up against white supremacy and hate in all forms, and I strongly condemn this behavior.
— Steve Stivers (@RepSteveStivers) October 30, 2018
Stivers, who chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), is among the most prominent party members to speak out against King.
The Iowa congressman has stoked controversy throughout his career.
He has said diversity is not America’s strength, endorsed a white nationalist candidate in the Toronto mayoral race and recently met with members of a far-right Austrian group with links to the Nazi Party.
“If they were in America pushing the platform that they push, they would be Republicans,” King told The Washington Post on Saturday, defending the meeting.
King’s comments to the news outlet came after a gunman killed 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, and allegedly spouted anti-Semitic slurs during the incident.
King has served in the House since 2013. He is favored to win reelection this year, though a poll released Tuesday showed his lead over Democratic challenger J.D. Scholten was down to 1 percentage point.
Scholten has outraised King in the race thus far, pulling in more than $1.4 million in contributions. The NRCC has no investments in the district.
The Democrat in a tweet applauded Stivers.
Last week I issued a challenge for at least one Republican elected official to condemn @SteveKingIA‘s recent behavior. I applaud @RepSteveStivers, Chair of the NRCC. Respect. #CountryOverParty https://t.co/KCKTBlEDhr
— J.D. Scholten (@Scholten4Iowa) October 30, 2018
Stivers appeared on a pair of Sunday talk shows last weekend alongside his Democratic counterpart, Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.). The two men called for unity and a cooling of political hostilities after violent week that saw the synagogue shooting and a spate of bomb threats against prominent Democrats.
“I think we all bear some responsibility and we need to try to clean up our act and try [to] bring civility to our Congress and frankly to our dialogue,” Stivers said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
He noted that the NRCC previously pulled funding for New Jersey congressional candidate Seth Grossman after it was reported he shared multiple racist articles on social media.
–Updated at 2:36 p.m.