5 conservatives who blasted Steve King’s appalling defense of rape and incest

"This weirdo needs to have been gone a long time ago"

By Alex Henderson

Published August 16, 2019 10:30AM (EDT)

Steve King; Liz Cheney (AP/J. Scott Applewhite/Getty/Alex Wong)
Steve King; Liz Cheney (AP/J. Scott Applewhite/Getty/Alex Wong)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

Whenever Rep. Steve King says or does something embarrassing, critics of the far-right Iowa congressman will inevitably wonder how he has managed to stay in the U.S. House of Representatives for so long. King was first elected to the House in 2002, and he has been reelected time and time again — most recently in 2018, when he survived a major blue wave and defeated Democrat J.D. Scholten by 3 percent. Regardless, King is a consistent embarrassment, and this week, he sparked yet another controversy when he insisted that anti-abortion laws should not have an exception for rape or incest and argued that there would not be “any population” left without those things. King was saying, in effect, that rape and incest have their place because they help insure that an ample supply of babies comes into the world.

Not surprisingly, the 70-year-old King is being lambasted by the left: Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, for example, tweeted that King is “a racist, a misogynist and a disgrace to the country” who “should not be a member of the United States Congress.” But the right is speaking out as well, from Never Trump conservatives like MSNBC contributor Elise Jordan (a former White House aide under President George W. Bush) to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other Republicans who are making an attempt at damage control.

Here are some right-wing reactions to King’s appalling comments on rape, incest and abortion.

1. Elise Jordan

One of the most colorful responses to King’s endorsement of rape and incest as a means of making sure enough babies are born came from Elise Jordan during a Thursday morning appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” Jordan called King out in no uncertain terms, declaring, “This weirdo needs to have been gone a long time ago.” BBC reporter/correspondent Katty Kay, a frequent “Morning Joe” contributor, agreed, saying, “He’s just a weirdo.”

2. Liz Cheney

Neocon wingnut Liz Cheney’s snarky comments are usually aimed at Democrats, but the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney was quick to attack King this week and tweeted that the congressman’s comments were “appalling and bizarre.” Cheney asserted, “As I’ve said before, it’s time for him to go. The people of Iowa’s 4th Congressional District deserve better.”

3. Rep. Steve Scalise

King was removed from House committees after his assertion that the term “white nationalism” should not be viewed negatively. And Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana stressed this week that in light of King’s rape/incest comments, it’s obvious that demoting him in the House was a wise move. The far-right Republican and supporter of President Donald Trump told Politico, “These comments are wrong and offensive and underscore why we removed him from his committees.”

4. Iowa State Sen. Randy Feenstra

Iowa State Sen. Randy Feenstra is a far-right social conservative, anti-abortion zealot, theocrat and Trump supporter, and this week, he tweeted that King is bad for Trump’s agenda. The 50-year-old Gen-X Republican posted, “I am 100% pro-life, but Steve King’s bizarre comments and behavior diminish our message and damage our cause.” And Feenstra added that Trump “needs defenders in Congress, not distractions.”

 5. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was among the high-ranking Republicans who went into damage-control mode in response to King’s rape/incest insanity. McCarthy, like Cheney, Scalise and Feenstra, obviously wanted to send out a message that Democrats weren’t the only ones who were offended by King’s remarks. And during a Fox News appearance on Wednesday night, McCarthy told Bret Baier that King has a history of saying things that “the party of Lincoln” shouldn’t “stand for” — and that Republicans “actually removed Steve King from his committees inside Congress” as a result. “I think this just continues to show why that action was taken,” the House minority leader told Baier.

Alex Henderson

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