Congressman Steve King.

State tourism officials say they’re fielding “hundreds” of phone calls, emails and Facebook messages, suggesting people are cancelling trips to Iowa because of comments from Congressman Steve King.

On March 12th, King tweeted the following: “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” King has said in national media interviews that he stands by the remark and that it wasn’t about race. For the second Monday in a row, Governor Branstad has distanced himself from King’s comments.

“I’m a strong supporter of tourism in Iowa and I think we need to continue to work together in a very positive way to bring tourists and jobs to the state,” Branstad said. “…I don’t think the words of one person, even somebody that’s a congressman, should deter anyone from coming Iowa and seeing the friendliness and hospitality and just the opportunities that are here.”

Branstad, though, described himself as a “team player” and he will not suggest King be ejected from the GOP.

“I don’t believe in burning bridges,” Branstad said.

According to The Des Moines Register, some participants in “The Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa” (RAGBRAI) are canceling because this year’s route passes through King’s congressional district.

This past Saturday, King tweeted a link to an online opinion piece which praised King for issuing a “Paul Revere-like warning” about the dangers of a low birth rate among American citizens. The Breitbart article, which was written by a former Republican colleague of King, suggested the Iowa congressman was a “victim of the merchants of globalism.”