Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is doubling down on his assertion that many undocumented immigrants are drug runners with “calves the size of cantaloupes.”
In an interview with Newsmax last week, King had said that for every one valedictorian, “there’s another hundred out there who they weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’ve been hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”
Although fellow Republicans like House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) have distanced themselves, and Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID) has even called the remarks “reprehensible,” King wasn’t backing down in a interview with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham on Friday.
The Iowa Republican insisted that he had “personal experience” observing and even “picking people up” with “calves the size of cantaloupes.”
“That description comes from many days down on the border, riding and sitting with the border patrol and without them at night, no night vision, watching the shadows come across the border, picking people up personally with my hands, unloading illegal drugs out of a vehicle with a false bottom under the truck,” he explained. “I mean this is a personal experience, and I sit there at night and border patrol agents would come to me one at a time in their civil clothes and talk to me clandestinely.”
“And so they all have calves the size of cantaloupes?” Ingraham wondered. “What?”
“I insulted the illegal drug dealers, the drug smugglers. I insulted them, I admit that,” King replied. “I don’t know why anybody else would be insulted.”
“Will you apologize for this comment?” Ingraham pressed.
“No, I won’t do that, Laura,” King said. “If I did that, that would further marginalize, and that would be a confession that the statement that I made was wrong or inaccurate.”
Listen to this audio from the Laura Ingraham Show, broadcast July 26, 2013.
(h/t: Think Progress)
[Correction: A previous version of this report incorrectly stated that King represented Idaho.]