In what became a heated argument, Rep. Steve King on Sunday once again defended his controversial remarks about drug smugglers among immigrants who could be legalized under the DREAM Act, setting off a tense exchange with Republican strategist Ana Navarro.
Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," the Iowa Republican was asked to a respond to a his remarks that “for everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert."
King said his statements were accurate and have been misconstrued.
"My numbers have not been debunked. I said valedictorians compared to people who would be legalized under the act that are drug smugglers coming across the border. My characterization was exclusively to drug smugglers," King said.
Host David Gregory said the remark had been debunked in that it was impossible to know how many valedictorians or drug smugglers would be involved in the DREAM Act.
“Then, what's their number? How many valedictorians do they suggest? And I’ll tell you, I've seen the drug smugglers," King said. "For this to be characterized by Dick Durbin as valedictorians, I'm telling the American people that I recognize that. … But this proposes to legalize a lot of people that will include the people who are drug smugglers up to the age of 35.”
It was at this point on MTP that GOP strategist Ana Navarro tore King a new one.
“I think Congressman King should go get some therapy for his melon fixation. I think there might be medication for that. I think he's a mediocre congressman with no legislative record and the only time he makes national press is when he comes out and says something offensive about the undocumented or Hispanics,” Navarro said, saying he’s been “helpful” to the debate by getting other Republicans to denounce his remarks.
Gregory brought King back to allow him to respond.
“First of all, I spoke only of drug smugglers. And if Ana understands the language, she should know that. I didn't insult her or other Republicans,” King said.
“I’m not undocumented, congressman, I vote,” Navarro interjected.
This is a Republican politico saying this to King on a Sunday show, no less. Not that he didn't deserve every ounce of Navarro's scorn, of course. But the larger message is that any sort of Latino outreach by Republicans like Navarro is 100% worthless as long as the GOP remains the party of Steve King and the dozens of assholes like him.
Navarro knows this full well, and she's rightfully furious. Steve King makes her job impossible.
I have no sympathy for Navarro, however. You chose to align yourself with racists like King, now you're learning the hard way why King is irredeemable. Good luck with your Sisyphean efforts, and don't let the boulder roll you down on the way to 2016.