5 best quotes from Steve King's rambling floor speech

King was again defending his contention that some DREAMers are drug smugglers

Published July 25, 2013 7:46PM (EDT)

In a rambling speech on the House floor, Rep. Steve King invoked Jesus, the Greeks and the entire history of Western civilization, as part of a continued defense of his comment that some DREAMers are drug smugglers with ”calves the size of cantaloupes."

Here are the highlights from his bizarre history lesson:

On criticism of his remarks:

No nation like the United States of America can continue to grow and be a strong nation if we are going to judge people because they disagree with our agenda rather than the content of their statements. We have to be critical thinkers. We have to be analytical. We should understand facts from emotion.

On Moses, Greeks and Romans:

My point is, as civilization is progressing, Mosaic law came down from the mountain, was handed to civilization, it emerged through the Greek civilization as the Greeks were developing their Age of Reason. And we're talking about the foundation of Western Civilization, and almost concurrently with that, Roman law was emerging as well.

On Jesus facing his accusers:

As you remember, Mr. Speaker, the high priest said to Jesus, did you really say those things? Did you really preach those things? And Jesus said to the high priest, as the Jews were watching, ask them. They were there, they can tell you. That was, Mr. Speaker, the assertion by Jesus that he had a right to face his accusers. That principle remains today in our law that we have a right to face our accusers. And when he said ‘ask them, they were there, they can tell you,’ he’s facing his accusers and demanding they testify against him rather than make allegations behind his back.

On censorship:

What if Congress, and this culture which directs this Congress, what if we decided, you're going to have limited speech. Certain things you can't say, and we'll give you the list of words you can't utter because if you do that, you are going to be violating somebody's sense of political correctness. What if we said you can assemble, but we are going to diminish your right to assemble because sometimes we disagree with what comes out of those meetings.

On his point:

Here's my point, Mr. Speaker. Our southern border is porous.

King has been under fire from House Republican leadership, and pretty much everyone else, for arguing against delaying deportations for undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children, and saying that “For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert."

Here's a clip, via Right Wing Watch:

By Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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