"He's racist and he is bad for the party," Meghan McCain said on The View this week after Rep. Steve King made a racist comment to The New York Times
“I am John McCain’s daughter,” she said. “I am not someone who sits here and is okay with racism in any way whatsoever.”
McCain’s fiery remarks come one day after House Republican leaders removed King from the Judiciary and Agriculture Committees, essentially sidelining him in Congress.
King, a staunch opponent of pro-immigration politics who has a history of incendiary and racist comments, touched off perhaps his fiercest controversy following an interview he gave to the Times on Thursday.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” he told the paper. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
In a later statement to the Times, King attempted to clarify what he said, calling himself a “nationalist” who did not support “white supremacy” but instead was an advocate for “western civilization’s values.”
“I want to make one thing abundantly clear: I reject those labels and the evil ideology they define,” he said.
At the Republican National Convention in 2016, King derided nonwhites for — in his words — failing to contribute as much as white people had to the world.
“I would ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people you are talking about,” he said then. “Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”
Similar to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, who suggested that King find “another line of work,” and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, who said King should quit, McCain said on The View that King is bad for the Republican party.
“I condemn him. He should step down. He’s racist and he is bad for the party,” she said, later adding that she was exasperated by the issue and “would like us to move forward and past things that I thought were done in the ’60s.”
View co-host Sonny Hostin agreed with McCain, stressing the ramifications of perceptions of party racism on reaching new voters.
“The Republican Party has had a lot of difficulty getting the black vote, getting the minority vote, in large part because there is this feeling that there is a lot racism in the Republican party, or that they haven’t addressed black needs,” Hostin said.
While all of the hosts criticized King’s comments, a disagreement broke out following Hostin’s connection between King and President Donald Trump‘s proposed border wall, which led to an ongoing government shutdown.
“Republicans now, with [King], I think could make such a significant statement by forcing him to resign. But will Republicans now step up to the plate with Donald Trump? Because he has been using, I think, the border wall as a sort of dogwhistle for racism,” Hostin said.
In response, co-host Abby Huntsman pushed Hostin to consider whether every person who supports the wall is racist — to which Hostin responded, “That’s a good question.”
From there, the conversation turned into a heated back-and-fort about so-called identity politics and the danger of “broadstrokes,” which McCain said was assuming policy positions based someone’s race or political party.
As pressure mounts on King from inside and out of the Republican party, multiple Democratic resolutions are being introduced this week to condemn the congressman, the Times reports.