National Review editorial board to GOP: 'Dump Steve King'

National Review editorial board to GOP: 'Dump Steve King'
© Greg Nash

National Review called on conservatives to "dump Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingMan arrested for allegedly throwing glass of water at Steve King House Dem renews call for censuring Steve King Louisiana rep calls Steve King a 'white supremacist' after Katrina comment MORE" after the Iowa Republican congressman asked how the terms "white nationalist" and "white supremacist" became offensive language. 

The editorial from the conservative publication comes as King is under considerable heat for his comments, which were made to The New York Times, including by many in his own party. 

“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King asked, according to a report from the Times. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”  
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National Review's editors took exception to the comments from the nine-term congressman, calling them "odious" and "indefensible." 

"We doubt King paid much attention in those classes if he doesn’t realize that, from Lincoln to MLK, one of the glories of American history is how we finally shed our shameful racist past," its editors wrote. 

"King’s comments are odious and indefensible and follow a recent pattern of irresponsible demagogy on third-rail political issues. They don’t represent conservatism and he should be jettisoned by the Right," it adds.
 
The editorial also urged Republicans to police their own it and not to "back King in a primary or the general election in 2020."

In an address on the House floor Friday, King said he made a "freshman mistake" in agreeing to an interview with the Times. He didn't offer a direct apology for the comments, but said he regretted the "heartburn" for his district and Congress.
 
"One phrase in that long article has created an unnecessary controversy. That was my mistake," King said.
 
"I regret the heartburn that has poured forth upon this Congress and this country and especially in my state and in my congressional district," said King.
 
"I've never been anti-immigrant. I have been anti-illegal immigrant, and I remain that way," King said, while also making it clear that he rejects ideologies like white nationalism.
 
"I reject that ideology. I defend American civilization, which is an essential component of western civilization," King said.

Other prominent conservatives, including conservative commentator Ben Shapiro on Thursday, called on King to be censured by Congress while urging Republicans to launch a primary challenge against him in 2020. 

Iowa state Sen. Randy Feenstra (R) announced Wednesday that he will challenge King for his House seat in Iowa's 4th District.