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Rep. Steve King: ‘Hyperventilators’ turned ‘compliment’ comparing immigrants to dogs into insult

By Kay Steiger
Sunday, October 21, 2012 20:10 EDT
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Rep. Steve King (R-IA) via WHO TV
 
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During an hour-long interview with an Iowa local television station on Sunday, Rep. Steve King (R) articulated a number of right-wing conspiracy theories, including saying he couldn’t say for sure where the president was born and that he believed a State Department aide had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

When WHO TV’s John Bachman asked King about a time when he compared immigrants to dogs by saying the U.S. could have the “pick of the litter,” King responded, “It was a compliment, John.”

When Bachman said many didn’t take it as a compliment, King doubled down, saying, “They knew it was a compliment. They turned it into an insult because they’re professional hyperventilators. I can’t control that behavior, but it was a compliment because it identified the vigor with wich legal immigrants come to America. We’ve always gotten the cream of the crop and that’s why America is a ‘can do’ country.”

When asked to respond to a time he said President Barack Obama’s birth could have been faked by a “telegram from Kenya,” King said, “i never said that. I only related that others had suggested that. Again, it’s another example of the professional hyperventilators trying to gain a political advantage,” he said. “I don’t know where he was born, but I don’t see any indication that he was born anywhere else, and I’ve said that consistently.”

Bachman then asked King about the allegations that Huma Abedin, deputy chief of staff and aide to  Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, had family connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, King maintained that “even though he hadn’t memorized the family tree,” he maintained those allegations were true, despite many high-profile Republicans like former presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (AZ) blasting such suspicions.

“I say it appears to be the objective truth and I think we should look at those relationships, especially when someone’s that closely related to the staff of the Secretary of State,” King continued. “It becomes a critical issue and if you broaden this thing out to the Libyan situation and see the kind of performance we’ve had of this administration.”

When co-interviewer Dave Price asked about abortion, King maintained that “my position is that life begins at conception and begins at natural death.” Price followed up by asking if King’s beliefs extended to banning contraception. “I’ve not taken a position on the sale of contraceptives at all,” King replied.

Bachman asked about a time when King said he’d “never heard of” a circumstance of rape or incest. King replied that that was a misconception, but maintained that that specific circumstance hadn’t been brought to him “in all my public life before that interview.”

Watch a clip from the interview, clipped by SteveKingFacts and posted to YouTube on Oct. 21.

(h/t Salon)

Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger is the managing editor of Raw Story. Her contributions have appeared in The American Prospect, The Atlantic, Campus Progress, The Guardian, In These Times, Jezebel, Religion Dispatches, RH Reality Check, and others. You can follow her on Twitter @kaysteiger.
 
 
 
 
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