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Rep. Curbelo: I would never vote for someone like Steve King

Rep. Curbelo: I would never vote for someone like Steve King
© Greg Nash

Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloThe Memo: Trump furor stokes fears of unrest GOP wants more vision, policy from Trump at convention Mucarsel-Powell, Giménez to battle for Florida swing district MORE (R-Fla.) said Wednesday he would never vote for Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingHillicon Valley: House votes to condemn QAnon | Americans worried about foreign election interference | DHS confirms request to tap protester phones House approves measure condemning QAnon, but 17 Republicans vote against it Steve King defends past comments on white supremacy, blasts NYT and GOP leaders in fiery floor speech MORE (R-Iowa) given the congressman's actions and comments on race and association with white supremacists.

"His comments and his actions are disgusting," Curbelo told MSNBC regarding King.

"I know nothing about his opponent, Andrea, but I can tell you this, I would never cast a ballot for someone like Steve King," he said.

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"My principles are more important than any of that," Curbelo said, when asked if he would even refuse to vote for someone like King if the GOP majority depended on it. 

"I would never cast a ballot for someone like Steve King."

King has been under scrutiny from the left and right over his comments and conduct regarding race and white nationalism. 

The head of the GOP campaign arm in the House, Rep. Steve StiversSteven (Steve) Ernst StiversGOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power Business groups back pandemic insurance bill modeled on post-9/11 law National Retail Federation hosts virtual 'store tours' for lawmakers amid coronavirus MORE (R-Ohio), also recently criticized King, who is currently running for reelection.

"Congressman Steve King’s recent comments, actions, and retweets are completely inappropriate," Stivers tweeted Tuesday. "We must stand up against white supremacy and hate in all forms, and I strongly condemn this behavior."

King has previously endorsed a white nationalist candidate in a Toronto mayoral race and recently met with members of a far-right Austrian group with links to the Nazi Party. 

He has also stated that diversity is not America's strength and clashed with Curbelo and other members of the GOP last year when he tweeted, "We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies."

Though FiveThirtyEight gives King a 5 in 6 shot of holding his House seat in the midterms, party leadership has come under pressure to punish him.

On Wednesday, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) urged House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPelosi and Trump go a full year without speaking Jordan vows to back McCarthy as leader even if House loses more GOP seats Barrett declines to say if Trump can pardon himself MORE (R-Wis.) to take action against King for is "anti-Semitic and offensive" past comments.

"What the moment demands is our country’s leaders, from all sectors of society, to make it crystal clear that anti-Semitism and hate have no place in the United States," wrote ADL CEO and national director Jonathan Greenblatt in a public letter.