Sen. Ted Cruz hit Rep. Steve King on Sunday morning over the Iowa congressman’s recent remarks on white supremacy, adding that lawmakers need to unite on these issues “regardless of party.”
King — who served as Cruz’s national co-chair during his 2016 campaign for president — has been criticized repeatedly for his recent public commentary on white nationalism and white supremacy, wherein he questioned how and why those phrases became so offensive.
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“What Steve King said was stupid,” Cruz (R-Texas) told Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“It was stupid. It was hurtful. It was wrong and he needs to stop it. … I think all of us ought to be united regardless of party in saying white supremacism, white nationalism is hatred. It is bigotry. It is evil. It is wrong, and I think we need that clarity. And I’m certainly going to urge everyone to provide that clarity.”
Cruz didn’t say whether he would stand for or against King in the future, but said that he’s “going to urge everyone to stand for principles that matter.”
“When it comes to speaking out against bigotry whether it is the Klan or Nazis or anything else, I have a lifetime of standing up to that bigotry and I’ll continue it,” he said.
King last week said in an interview with The New York Times, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”
On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he had a meeting scheduled Monday with King and that “action will be taken.”
“I’m having a serious conversation with Congressman Steve King on his future and role in this Republican Party,” McCarthy told Margaret Brennan.