Congress

Rep. Steve King blames ‘unhinged left’ in new fundraising email

Amid backlash over racist comments, the Iowa Republican asked supporters for donations

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, sent a fundraising email to supporters this week in which he claims the recent controversy can be attributed to the “unhinged left.” (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite growing calls for Steve King to resign after making racist comments, the Iowa Republican sent an email Thursday urging supporters for new donations. 

“The unhinged left has teamed up with Republican ‘NeverTrumpers’ and is pulling out all the stops to destroy me,” King said in the email, the Des Moines Register reported.

Republicans, including President Donald Trump ally Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have called this week for King’s resignation. 

King has faced severe criticism in recent days for questioning, in a New York Times interview, why the terms “white supremacist” and “white nationalist” had become “offensive.”

King claimed in his email to supporters that The New York Times and the “rabid leftist media” has targeted him for his hard-line immigration stance, according to the Register.

Watch: Steve King: ‘I want to ask my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, let’s vote for this resolution’

Democrats, including Illinois Rep. Bobby L. Rush and Ohio Rep. Tim Ryanpushed for an official censure of King this week amid the renewed scrutiny of his racist statements.

Censure requires that the member stand in the well of the House and receive a verbal rebuke. But the chamber deferred the matter to the Ethics Committee instead. 

The fundraising email coincides with an announcement Thursday by one of King’s primary challengers, conservative state senator Randy Feenstra, that his campaign committee has raised $100,000 in the 10 days since it was formed. 

King had just $58,700 left in his campaign coffers after the 2018 election.

King’s most generous backers in the last cycle included some of the most powerful public officials and executives in Iowa. His donors included Iowa Board of Regents President Michael Richards, who contributed the legal maximum of $2,700 to King’s re-election.

None of these donors have commented on the growing call for the congressman’s resignation this week, WHO-TV reported.

In past cycles, King has easily secured re-election. But he faced an unusually competitive race last fall against Democrat J.D. Scholten. The race came amid new reports of King’s racist statements and sympathies with white supremacists. 

Scholten, a former professional baseball player, has not ruled out another challenge to King, Scholten’s former campaign manager said last week.

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