Iowa newspaper apologizes for endorsing Steve King, calls for resignation

Iowa newspaper apologizes for endorsing Steve King, calls for resignation
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A newspaper in northwest Iowa that endorsed Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingFormer Iowa Gov. Vilsack won't challenge Ernst for Senate in 2020 Steve King says he will run again in 2020: 'I have nothing to apologize for' The Hill's Morning Report - What to watch for as Mueller’s probe winds down MORE (R-Iowa) in his re-election campaign is now calling on him to resign.

In a Thursday column, The Messenger News’s editorial board said that it should have “pondered more carefully” King’s history of controversial statements before supporting him.

“Throughout his career, King has made comments that were at the very least insensitive to the role of various minorities in our diverse society,” the board writes. “At best, many things he said — and apparently believed — were evidence of great ignorance.”

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“It now appears likely that something more severe was involved. It’s hard to read the reports of the comments King has made recently and the individuals and groups he has praised without concluding that he either is a racist or is far too tolerant of those who are.”

Earlier this week, King was stripped of his House committee assignments and is facing resignation calls from both parties over his comments to The New York Times, in which he questioned why “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” were “offensive” terms. The Republican has repeatedly made incendiary comments about race, immigration and white nationalism.

The House, with King’s support, also passed a resolution condemning white supremacy that was meant as a response to his comments.

The Messenger writes that being removed from committees hinders King’s ability to fight for the “interests of rural Iowa.”

“Beyond that, it is apparent that virtually no member of the House or Senate has any desire to interact with him professionally — or quite likely, personally,” it writes.

In its October endorsement of King, the paper lauded the Republican for his “passion” about conservative causes, and called him an “effective voice” for rural Iowans.

Three months later, the board writes that King’s comments are “incompatible with representing the good people of Iowa,” and he should resign so that voters can elect a representative “who will not be an embarrassment to our state.”