Republican Congressman Steve King says congress is pursuing a “hollow agenda” that’s too focused on economic issues and isn’t addressing social issues like same-sex marriage.
“There are some people within our movement that want to rebrand the Republican Party,” King said Saturday. “Now, they may succeed in doing that, but they’re never going to rebrand us conservatives.”
King made his comments this weekend at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. King vowed to leave the event “like a rocket” to challenge the Republican Party to do more to promote traditional marriage and to “protect innocent, unborn life.”
“I look at the agenda that’s been coming out of congress recently and it seems to me to be a hollow agenda,” King said. “There’s a lot more to this country than buy, sell, trade, make, gain. Yes, economics are important and, yes, free enterprise capitalism is a pillar of American exceptionalism, but it isn’t the central point. It isn’t the sole point.”
Some in the GOP have argued Republicans need to moderate their message and quit focusing on social issues. King suggested his own 2012 reelection campaign proves the opposing view, that firmly standing against same-sex marriage and abortion are a path to victory for Republicans.
“The thing that a bunch of people that have been backing away from these challenges don’t seem to realize is I’m still standing,” King said. “Now, why is that? I didn’t run a campaign on ‘jobs and the economy, jobs and the economy, jobs and the economy’ and beat that drum until I beat people into sleep. That’s part of it all right, but all of the rest of this has to be added together or we can never reconstruct this country.”
King also vowed to oppose the immigration reform efforts some of his Republican colleagues in congress are touting.
“Republicans seem to forget that of the 11 or 12 million that they say are here — and I think it’s 20 (million) — two out of every three are Democrats and Democrats know that. This is a political agenda on the part of the Democrats and the president came to us and said, ‘I’m trying to help you Republicans.’ I’m not buying it,” King said. “…I would suggest to the leftists that have deconstructed the rule of law, America’s pillars of American exceptionalism, cities like Detroit and Chicago — either go live in those enclaves that you’ve deconstructed, or self-deport.”
According to King, Mitt Romney used “kind and gentle language” when Romney suggested illegal immigrants should “self-deport” — and King told the crowd that remark is not why Romney lost the election.