Conservative Rep. Steve King is taking serious flak this week, and it's coming from within his own party. The latest example: On Thursday, the third-ranking Republican in the House—Liz Cheney—rebuked the controversial Iowa congressman for comments he made about white nationalism in an interview with the New York Times. “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization—how did that language become offensive?” King asked. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?” And referring to the diverse Democratic crop of House freshmen, he said: “You could look over there and think the Democratic party is no country for white men." Cheney, chairwoman of the House GOP conference, told the Hill: "These comments are abhorrent and racist and should have no place in our national discourse."
King, who has a long history of controversial statements on illegal immigration (a “slow-rolling, slow-motion terrorist attack") and multiculturalism, issued a new statement saying he rejects the labels "white supremacist" and "white nationalist," along with "the evil ideology that they define." He is simply a "nationalist," he said. The Cheney rebuke comes a day after GOP state Sen. Randy Feenstra announced he would challenge King in the 2020 primary, reports the Des Moines Register. “Today, Iowa’s 4th District doesn’t have a voice in Washington, because our current representative’s caustic nature has left us without a seat at the table,” said Feenstra. Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds declined to endorse King on Wednesday, and the Register thinks the congressman, who barely won in 2016, has a "serious fight" on his hands. (King tried to keep Harriet Tubman off US currency.)