Iowa Congressman Steve King said it may be difficult for the GOP to unite behind Donald Trump.
King endorsed Ted Cruz before the Caucuses and he said Trump engaged in “school yard tactics” Tuesday morning when Trump accused Cruz’s father of somehow being linked with Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who assassinated President Kennedy.
“I don’t know how we heal up from this,” King said. “…It’s going to be, to a degree, a divided party that’s going to have to look across at the other side…If Hillary Clinton is the nominee, that might be what brings us together.”
Cruz suspended his campaign last night after losing to Trump by double-digits in Indiana’s Primary. In mid-February, King warned Democrats will spend “hundreds of millions of dollars” replaying all the things Trump has said during this campaign — and it will hurt all Republican candidates.
“He’s willing to say things that nobody else is willing to say,” King said last night. “…It seems like there are a good number of people that just interpret that if somebody is willing to speak bluntly, that actually is the truth.”
King has said Trump has lied about Cruz on several fronts, including this week’s accusations about Cruz’s father. King traces Trump’s widespread support to dissatisfaction with the GOP establishment.
“People are fed up with government,” King said. “They’re frustrated that Republicans have not stood up and taken on this president.”
King faces a GOP Primary opponent himself this year. State Senator Rick Bertrand of Sioux City has just sent a mailing to likely GOP voters in the 4th congressional district. King’s campaign announced this morning that Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds has endorsed King’s bid for reelection.
King now has the backing of both U.S. Senators and the state’s ag secretary. Governor Terry Branstad has said he’ll stay neutral in the race. Branstad and King had a very public falling out this January over Cruz’s stand on ethanol.
(Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)