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Iowa’s largest and most influential newspaper, The Des Moines Register, slammed Representative Steve King (Republican – Iowa) in a scathing editorial that went also after the GOP as a whole.
The Register‘s editorial board on Saturday endorsed voting for Democrats down the line, arguing that Republicans had failed to get anything good done despite controlling both chambers of Congress and the White House.
But the strongest language in the piece was reserved for the race involving King, who has routinely made national headlines for accusations of racism and his penchant for running in the same circles as neo-Nazis.
The editorial read, in part:
“This one’s a no-brainer for any Iowan who has cringed at eight-term incumbent King’s increasing obsession with being a cultural provocateur. In his almost 16 years in Congress, King has passed exactly one bill as primary sponsor, redesignating a post office. He won’t debate his opponent and rarely holds public town halls. Instead, he spends his time meeting with fascist leaders in Europe and retweeting neo-Nazis.”
Later, the paper noted it not only endorsed Democrat J.D. Scholten “as an antidote for King’s virulent xenophobia but as a promising new leader.”
King has regularly churned up controversy with his courting of the far-right. This summer, for instance, he re-tweeted an anti-immigrant message from British neo-Nazi Mark Collett. He refused to apologize.
“It’s unjust to simply put a politically correct bridle on someone and say, ‘You’ve got to do a background check on everybody that ever tweets something out before you can ever agree with a single sentence that they might put out,'” he told CNN in June. “And by the way, I didn’t even know it was his message.”
King has also regularly made comments widely thought as racist. In support of Dutch politician Geert Wilders, he once tweeted, for instance: “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”