Rep. Steve King (R-IA) dismissed as “ridiculous” the prospect of losing a committee assignment as a result of his saying that “demographics are our destiny,” and “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies,” among other things.
“That’s a ridiculous proposition,” King told Politico. “Nancy Pelosi doesn’t run that.”
King is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution & Civil Justice. House Minority Leader Pelosi (D-CA) advocated on Twitter for King to be stripped of that role as punishment for his comments.
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) March 13, 2017
Responding to his tweet, which also endorsed the anti-Muslim Dutch politician Geert Wilders, King said Monday that he “meant exactly what I said.”
“This western civilization is a superior civilization and we want to share it with everybody,” he told CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
On Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) distanced himself from King’s statement, saying “I’d like to think––and I haven’t spoken to Steve about this––I’d like to think that he misspoke and it wasn’t really meant the way that that sounds, and hopefully he’s clarified that.”
And White House press secretary Sean Spicer said of King’s comments, referring to President Trump, ”this is not a point of view he shares.”
”He believes he is the president for all Americans,” Spicer said.
King told Politico Thursday that his critics weren’t distinguishing between his endorsement of western civilization and the white race.
“The people that interpreted that are just ridiculous,” he said. “I spoke to civilization and [if] they don’t know the difference between civilization and race, then they need to go back to school.”
However, King himself has blurred the lines on several occasions.
“He’s adding up Hispanics and blacks into what he predicts will be in greater number than whites in America,” King said Monday, referring to Univision journalist Jorge Ramos. “I will predict that Hispanics and the blacks will be fighting each other before that happens.”
In the same interview, King recommended listeners read the 1973 novel “The Camp of The Saints,” a book referenced frequently by White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, in which an “armada” of hundreds of thousands of Indian refugees land in France. One Republican commentator described the book to the Huffington Post as “shockingly racist.”
At the 2016 Republican National Convention, King said, during a discussion of diversity in the Republican Party: ”I would ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you are talking about, where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”
“Than white people?” MSNBC host Chris Hayes asked.
“Than—than western civilization itself that’s rooted in western Europe, eastern Europe and the United States of America, and every place where christianity settled the world,” King said. “That’s all of western civilization.”