Republican Congressman Steve King is drawing national attention for remarks he made on talk radio about President Obama.
On Monday, King was a guest on G. Gordon Liddy’s nationally syndicated radio show and King made these comments: “The president has demonstrated he’s got a default mechanism in him that breaks down on the side of race, that favors the black person. In the case of professor Gates and officer Crowley, that was a case where he knew nothing about it, threw himself into it and concluded that the cop had operated on a race bias or race basis, and then he ended up having to have a ‘beer summit’ because of that.”
That’s a reference to last July’s flap after a white Boston cop arrested a black Harvard professor after a neighbor called to report a possible break-in at the professor’s home. King was also critical of Attorney General Eric Holder who, like Obama, is black.
“When you look at this administration, I’m offended by Eric Holder and the president also, their posture of this,” King said on Liddy’s show. “But it looks like Eric Holder said that we were, that white people in America are cowards when it comes to race and I don’t know what the basis of that is, but I’m not a coward when it comes to that and I’m happy to talk about these things and I think we should.” King accused the attorney general of pulling the plug on a case involving the New Black Panthers “for political reasons.”
King, who is from Kiron in western Iowa, also blasted Holder for not pursuing a case against black people wearing “paramilitary uniforms” who called white people “crackers.” And King suggests the Department of Justice isn’t investigating the group ACORN because many ACORN members are minorities.
In the wake of King’s comments on Liddy’s show, a Republican congressional candidate in Colorado has canceled King’s appearance as the headliner for a campaign fundraiser on Saturday. King’s campaign staff has referred questions to his congressional office in Washington, D.C., but a spokesman for King’s congressional office has not responded to requests for comment.
King’s also drawing fire for comments he made Monday night on the House floor in defense of Arizona’s new law that seeks to crackdown on illegal immigration. “Some claim that the Arizona law will bring about racial discrimination profiling,” King said. “…Profiling has always been an important component of legitimate law enforcement. If you can’t profile someone, you can’t use those common sense indicators that are before your very eyes.”
King has long advocated a “get tougher” approach to illegal immigration. “I think it’s wrong to use racial profiling for the reasons of discriminating against people,” King said Monday night. “But it’s not wrong to use race or other indicators for the sake of identifying people that are violating the law.”
King was speaking during a portion of the day in which House members are allowed to give what are called “special order speeches” that are broadcast “live” on C-SPAN, but there are rarely other members of the House present. During his “special order speech” Monday night, King said he had been “profiled” by a D.C. cab driver earlier in the day.
“There I was, profiled, because I’m a guy in a suit in a time of the day when it’d be logical that I’d be looking for a ride somewhere,” King said. “It’s just a common sense thing. Law enforcement needs to use common sense indicators. Those common sense indicators are all kinds of things from what kind of clothes people wear — my suit in my case; what kind of shoes people wear; what kind of accident they have; the type of grooming they might have. There are all kind of indicators there and sometime’s it’s just a sixth sense and they can’t put their fingers on it.”
King may have meant “accent” rather than “accident” when referring to indicators which may lead law enforcement to believe someone is an illegal immigrant.