After endorsing white nationalist Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) last fall, an Iowa newspaper’s editorial board on Thursday urged his resignation and issued a mea culpa for overlooking his history of racism.
“It is now clear that the endorsement we made was a mistake. We should have pondered more carefully King’s pattern of making outrageous statements,” the editorial board of The Messenger in Fort Dodge, Iowa, wrote in an editorial published Thursday, before admitting that “it’s hard to read the reports of the comments King has made recently and the individuals and groups he has praised without concluding that he either is a racist or is far too tolerant of those who are.”
The Iowa congressman has perpetually made racist and anti-immigrant remarks and embraced white supremacy and white nationalism, as HuffPost has reported. But it was King’s comments to The New York Times last week ― in which he questioned why his beliefs were offensive ― that led House Republicans to condemn him and strip him of his committee assignments.
Citing his “racially charged comments,” the Messenger’s editorial board went on to call for King’s swift resignation, joining several other Iowa newspapers to do so this week.
“The racially charged comments that have become King’s hallmark are incompatible with representing the good people of Iowa. Racism and/or insensitivity to racism are unacceptable to virtually all Iowans or all political persuasions,” the editorial board wrote. “Therefore, King should resign from Congress with no delay. That will allow a special election to be held so someone who will not be an embarrassment to our state can be elected.”