Biden blasts Steve King for 'white supremacist' comments

Biden blasts Steve King for 'white supremacist' comments
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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenKamala Harris picks Baltimore as headquarters for potential 2020 campaign: report Congress should elevate those trapped in the gap – support ELEVATE Act Sen. Casey says he won't run for president in 2020 MORE ripped Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingSteve King fundraising off controversy surrounding white supremacy comments Steve King's primary challenger raises more than 0k in first 10 days of campaign GOP can't excommunicate King and ignore Trump playing to white supremacy and racism MORE (R-Iowa) on Friday for his comments questioning how the terms “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” became offensive.

Biden took to Twitter on Friday night to blast the outspoken Republican, who attempted to defuse the controversy earlier in the day with a speech on the House floor.

“White supremacists and their shameful ideology should have no place in this country in 2019, let alone a voice of sympathy in the United States Congress,” Biden wrote. 

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King made the initial remarks in an interview with The New York Times published Thursday.

“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King asked in the interview. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”

King’s comments drew widespread backlash, with some lawmakers calling for the House to censure him, and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiOvernight Defense: Trump unveils new missile defense plan | Dems express alarm | Shutdown hits Day 27 | Trump cancels Pelosi foreign trip | Senators offer bill to prevent NATO withdrawal McConnell blocks bill to reopen most of government Overnight Health Care: Thousands more migrant children may have been separated | Senate rejects bill to permanently ban federal funds for abortion | Women's March to lobby for 'Medicare for All' MORE (D-Calif.) saying there is “interest” to take action on him.

"One phrase in that long article has created an unnecessary controversy. That was my mistake," King said on the House floor on Friday. "I've never been anti-immigrant. I have been anti-illegal immigrant, and I remain that way.” 

Biden is seen by many as a top possible Democratic presidential candidate in 2020. He has said he would make a decision soon regarding his candidacy.

He has been an outspoken critic of Trump and has lent his voice to several Democratic causes in the years since he left the White House with former President Obama.