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GOP leaders pretend to be offended by Steve King rape comments even though they agree

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise made the same case as King just a few months ago.

By Oliver Willis - August 15, 2019
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Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) speaking alongside Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) during a news conference on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019 in Washington.

House Republican leaders criticized pro-rape comments from Rep. Steve King (R-IA) on Wednesday, but they are not calling for his removal or censure.

At a Tuesday town hall meeting, King told constituents that he was grateful for “rape or incest” that have kept the “population of the world” growing. The comments were made in the context of King defending his position against abortion, even in cases of rape or incest.

Wednesday night, House Republican leaders complained about King’s remarks.

“I have a great deal of problems with that,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News. “This isn’t the first time I’ve had concerns of what Steve King has said. Earlier in this Congress, there are things that Steve King said that I do not believe the party of Lincoln would stand for.”

McCarthy went on to cite the party’s decision in January  — after years and years of unchecked racism and bigotry from King — to remove him from congressional committees as evidence that he had been dealt with.

Rep. Steve Scalise, the House Minority whip, told Politico, “These comments are wrong, and offensive, and underscore why we removed him from his committees.”

But both men fell short of calling for King to resign from his position.

Republican leaders may have not called for such a harsh penalty against King because they have supported the same sort of policies.

The Republican Party’s platform, as ratified at their 2016 convention, opposes abortion rights and makes no exceptions for rape or incest, or the life of the mother.

“We assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed,” the document says.

Republican leaders have reiterated this message, which is essentially identical to what King said.

In May, as part of the Republican Party’s attempts to once again demagogue the abortion issue, Scalise reasserted his past support for forced childbirth, even in cases of rape or incest.

“In Louisiana when we had the bill when I was in the state legislature, I voted for the bill that banned abortion except in the case of protecting life of the mother. That was the only exception,” Scalise told reporters.

King said what Republicans have said for a long time on abortion rights, and despite the criticisms of how he said it, party leaders have shown no interest in taking things further.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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