Colbert rips Steve King: He's 'caustic like bleach'

CBS late-night host Stephen Colbert slammed Iowa Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingFeenstra wins Iowa House race to fill Steve King's seat Democrats lead in 3 of 4 Iowa House races: poll Hillicon Valley: House votes to condemn QAnon | Americans worried about foreign election interference | DHS confirms request to tap protester phones MORE (R) on Friday after the congressman questioned why the term "white supremacist" was offensive.

Reading a quote from King's new primary challenger, state Sen. Randy Feenstra (R), who said that King was too "caustic" to hold office, Colbert joked that King was "caustic, like bleach."

"According to Feenstra, King is no longer fit to serve Iowa because of his 'caustic nature.' Yes, King is very caustic, like bleach, in that they both want to turn everything white," Colbert joked.

Colbert has criticized the Iowa congressman before over his remarks concerning race.


In a 2013 episode of "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central, Colbert took aim at King for his description of some Mexican immigrants as drug-runners with "legs the size of cantaloupes."

"We all say it behind closed doors, Mexicans have calves the size of cantaloupes," Colbert joked at the time, in character as his right-wing persona on "The Colbert Report." "It's all about picking the good ones. Steve King knows that."

Colbert's most recent comments came after King asked during an interview with The New York Times why terms such as "white supremacist" and "white nationalist" were offensive.

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

King delivered a speech on the House floor Friday attempting to defuse the controversy following backlash, including from GOP leaders.

"I want to make one thing abundantly clear; I reject those labels and the evil ideology that they define. Further, I condemn anyone that supports this evil and bigoted ideology which saw in its ultimate expression the systematic murder of 6 million innocent Jewish lives," King said.

His remarks have spurred calls from Democrats and some Republicans for his censure on the House floor, which Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiClub for Growth to launch ad blitz in Georgia to juice GOP turnout Governors take heat for violating their own coronavirus restrictions Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight MORE (D-Calif.) indicated was a possibility.

“I’m not prepared to make any announcement about that right now,” she said. “But needless to say, there’s interest in doing something.”