United States House of Representatives(WASHINGTON) — U.S. Rep. Steve King, known for his sometimes provocative rhetoric, on Monday stood by his inflammatory tweet Sunday that “we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”
The Iowa Republican “meant exactly what I said,” he told CNN Monday.
Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies. https://t.co/4nxLipafWO
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) March 12, 2017
In the Sunday post that drew fire on social media, King appeared to promote Geert Wilders, a right-wing Dutch politician who has vowed to “de-Islamize” the Netherlands if elected prime minister.
“I’ve been to Europe and spoken on this issue … I’ve said to them you can’t rebuild your civilization with somebody else’s babies,” King said. “You’ve got to keep your birth rate up and you need to teach your children your values.”
King, who calls himself a “champion of Western civilization,” argued that Western civilization is a “superior civilization and we want to share it with everybody.”
“If you go down the road a few generations or maybe centuries with the intermarriage, I’d like to see an America that so homogeneous,” King told CNN. “I think there’s far too much focus on race, especially in the last eight years.”
When asked whether a Muslim-American, an Italian-American and a German-American are all equal, he replied, “I’d say they’re all created in the image of God and they’re equal in his eyes. If they’re citizens of the United States, they’re equal in the eyes of the law.”
King continued, “Individuals will contribute differently, not equally to this civilization and society. Certain groups of people will do more from a productive side than other groups of people will.”
The chairman of the Iowa Republican Party distanced himself from King’s tweet.
“First of all, I do not agree with Congressman King’s statement. We are a nation of immigrants, and diversity is the strength of any nation and any community,” Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said in a statement released Monday morning.
Both King’s tweets and interview drew the ire of fellow Republicans.
“What exactly do you mean? Do I qualify as ‘someone else’s baby?'” tweeted Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo, the son of two Cuban exiles who fled the country in the 1960s.
— Carlos Curbelo (@carloslcurbelo) March 13, 2017
“Is it worth making the obvious point that what American history has been about is ‘restoring’ ourselves with ‘somebody else’s babies?'” asked conservative columnist Bill Kristol.
Is it worth making the obvious point that what American history has been about is “restoring” ourselves with “somebody else’s babies?” https://t.co/DZAjW670Ur
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) March 12, 2017
Former Democratic Governor of Vermont Howard Dean was more blunt, calling King an “ignoramus.”
King is a total ignoramus and no one takes him seriously. He does give off good quotes to outrage people though. https://t.co/tMZf7heR9O
— Howard Dean (@GovHowardDean) March 12, 2017
King’s history of controversial comments
This isn’t the first time King, who was elected to the House in 2002, has found himself in hot water over his views on race.
Asked last July about the comparative racial homogeneity of the Republican party, the 67-year-old congressman responded, “this ‘old white people’ business does get a little tired.”
“I’d 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’re talking about?” he added. “Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”
In 2013, he implied that the vast majority of undocumented immigrants brought across the southern border as children are drug mules.
“For every valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that — they weigh 130 pounds, and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert,” he said.
He’s also been roundly criticized for attempting to block the image of Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman from the $20 bill and defending the use of the Confederate flag as a piece of “our heritage.”
King’s office did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.
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