Governor Branstad today condemned anti-immigrant comments that appeared in a weekend tweet from Republican 4th District Representative Steve King.
King wrote in support of anti-immigration Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders who wants to ban the Quran in the Netherlands and shut down mosques.
“Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny,” King tweeted. “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else's babies.”
Branstad says King’s remarks do not reflect the views of Iowans, but he disagrees that the congressman poses a problem for the Republican Party.
“Steve King is Steve King,” Branstad said at his weekly statehouse news conference. “We all know that.”
Branstad was asked to explain.
“I mean he from time to time says things we don't agree with,” he said. “And we've always been honest about that.”
But the chair of the Iowa Democratic Party says it’s not enough to simply disagree with King.
“If the Iowa GOP is serious about condemning King’s racism they should remove his name from any future Republican Party sponsored events and fundraisers,” said Derek Eadon in a statement, “and join us in a call for King to be censured.”
“Steve King is an embarrassment,” added Iowa Democratic Congressman Dave Loebsack. “His pandering to the KKK is shameful.”
Loebsack referred to another tweet this weekend from former KKK leader, white supremacist David Duke.
“God bless Steve King,” he wrote. “Sanity reigns in Iowa’s 4th District.”
“We certainly don’t want David Duke or his kind coming to Iowa,” Branstad said.
“David Duke is not welcome in Iowa,” added Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann. “I do not agree with Congressman King's statement.”
In an interview Monday on CNN, King stood by his remarks.
"I meant exactly what I said," King said. “We need to get our birth rates up or Europe will be entirely transformed within a half a century or a little more.”
King has made statements in the past questioning the contributions of non-whites.
“I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out, where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you’re talking about,” King said on MSNBC. “Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”