Only the tiniest crowd of people turned up in Richmond, Virginia on Monday for Rep. Steve King (R-IA)’s “anti-amnesty” rally, a protest aimed at halting the immigration reform bill currently making its way through Congress. According to Think Progress, fewer than 60 attendees braved the Richmond twilight to hear King’s “Stop Amnesty” message.
Daily Caller writer Matthew Boyle lamented on Twitter, “If grassroots wants to kill #Amnesty they have to show up. #teaparty they are not here in Richmond.” and later “Not sure where the grassroots are. Not here.”
Billed as a grassroots uprising against establishment Republicans’ decision to work with Democrats on comprehensive immigration reform, the rally was intended to be a public demonstration of the might of the tea party wing of the GOP. Photos taken by Politico‘s Seung Min Kim showed a mostly-empty plaza with a few scattered spectators sitting on benches.
“Mainstream media who drove down to Richmond from DC have smirks on their faces,” Boyle tweeted, to which Politico’s Kim replied, “Nope, I’m just usually a smiley person!”
King has come under fire from both sides of the aisle for his remarks earlier this summer opposing the DREAM Act, which would create a path to citizenship for children of undocumented immigrants who were born in this country or brought to the U.S. by their families.
King claimed that for every undocumented American 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.”
On Sunday, Republican strategist Ana Navarro blasted King on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” telling him to “get some therapy for his melon fixation.”
“I think he’s a mediocre congressman with no legislative record and the only time he makes national press is when he comes out and says something offensive about the undocumented or Hispanics,” Navarro said.
[image of Rep. Steve King via Flickr user Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons licensed]