Rep. Steve King: 100 drug runners for every valedictorian 'DREAMer'
July 23rd, 2013
05:12 PM ET
1 year ago

Rep. Steve King: 100 drug runners for every valedictorian 'DREAMer'

Washington (CNN) – Supporters of the Senate immigration bill's path to citizenship are blasting comments Iowa Rep. Steve King made last week where he said that for every young undocumented immigrant who is a school valedictorian, 100 more are "hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert."

King made the comments in an interview Thursday with conservative news organization Newsmax. They were in response to criticism from anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist, himself a supporter of the Senate immigration overhaul.

The controversial comments focused specifically on so-called DREAMers, advocates for a path to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants, especially those with strong school records, who were brought to the United States by their parents. King acknowledged that there are undocumented immigrants for whom he has sympathy, with strong connections to the community and exemplary school performance.

"But they aren't all valedictorians, they weren't all brought by their parents," King said.

"For everyone who's a valedictorian there's another 100 out there that, they weigh 130 pounds and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert. Those people would be legalized with the same act."

Senior White House advisor Dan Pfeiffer went after King's comments in a Tweet Tuesday afternoon. "Every member of the GOP should condemn Rep King for comparing the Dreamers to drug mules, they represent what is great about this country," he said.

And House Speaker John Boehner, a fellow Republican, chastised King, saying, "What he said is wrong. There can be honest disagreements about policy without using hateful language. Everyone needs to remember that."

In an interview set to air on Piers Morgan Saturday, King told guest host Morgan Spurlock that he stood by his comments.

"Of course I do. It’s utterly true, and I haven’t found anybody who came up with a competing number," he said. "Certainly I pulled 100 out of a hat, but I think that’s probably a low number."

Earlier in the Newsmax interview, King lashed out at voices who have called him anti-immigrant. "There isn't anyone that can fairly characterize me as anti-immigrant," the Republican said.

"They're conflating the terms anti-illegal immigrant and anti-immigrant."

Even before the drug-running comments surfaced, the six-term Congressman has been defending himself against accusations of racism against immigrants. In an interview Sunday with Univision, he disputed allegations that he compared immigrants to dogs at a 2012 event in Iowa.

King has been critical of the path to citizenship in the Senate-passed immigration bill, calling it amnesty. That bipartisan bill passed the Senate by a 68-32 vote in June but has faced uncertain prospects in the Republican-controlled House.

House Republicans have vowed not to take up the Senate bill, instead preferring their own version with stronger border control provisions and without a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants estimated to be living in the United States.

Immigration's prospects in House still not clear

It was King who proposed legislation passed by the House of Representatives in June that moved to end an Obama Administration policy deferring deportation for some young undocumented immigrants.

House Republicans vote to end Obama deportation rule


Filed under: DREAM act • Immigration • Steve King
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. sonny chapman

    What an inspiring leader.

    July 23, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    This bigot should be drummed out of office and sent packing into the Mexican desert barefoot with a stone tablet bearing every racist thing he's said about Mexicans, Hispanics and immigrants shackled around his neck.

    July 23, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  3. CB FL

    When interviewed last week by Latino news he said he has never said those things. Not only is he a liar he is a racist of the worst kind. He says he believes in GOD and I hope he does because he will be judged for what he is doing. I hope he like afterlife HOT!

    July 23, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  4. samianquazi

    That is so insensitive and disrespectful for Congressman Steve King to say that.

    July 23, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  5. JustAO

    Wow! He really thinks that about hispanics (prolly people of any color). It's really sad GOP wants these type of representatives to govern our country.

    GOP is unfit to govern Americans and they represent a misogonystic and ignorant male demographic that is becoming extinct. Thank God!

    July 23, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  6. tom l.

    @Sniffit
    "Would be nice if the American public had the wherewithal to expect that accusations be substantiated. The timestamps were not in the images. All this is, so far, is unsubstantiated accusations on a tabloid website. If it turns out he did stuff after the scandal that caused him to leave office, then yeah, what a complete imbecile. But if these texts end up being from before that...and we don't know that they aren't because the timestamps were removed...then this is just a tabloid milking some convenient images. Point is, WE DON'T KNOW YET."

    Well, well, well. He just admitted that they happened after his resignation. Shocking.

    You sound like Karl Rove on election night. Awesome

    July 23, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  7. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Thank you Senator. Every time one of you out of step, disconnected, right wing nuts open your mouth, you further alienate the voters of America. There are still a band of Kooks who agree with you, but thankfully, they are a dying breed.

    July 23, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  8. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    This guy is a pinhead. He will call them anchor babies soon.

    July 23, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  9. Borderless

    Apparently everyone forgot Steven King is a FICTION writer. What? Different King? Apologies.

    July 23, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    what an idiot....American's are consumming the stuff like fish breath water, where's that stat?? and weed is no more a problem than booze is....it's just the same old song....I wonder if his ancestors were the 0ones sending Heroin to China back in the 1700's ...the quality immigrants that came via the Mayflower.. the gall of his statement is so staus quo

    July 23, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  11. Alicia C. Clements

    And how about you speaking about the fact that our country has the biggest market for all these illegal drugs in the whole wide world. You are a typical American bigot who thinks "Let's blame them for it , it is not us." You cannot be that dumb or uninformed, are you? YOU SOUND EXREMELY IGNORANT AND THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO FIX THE PROBLEM. The only way to fix it, is to see the problem from both angles, don't you think?

    July 23, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  12. lew todd

    King's comment's also ring true for the GOP party...For every honest, reputable republican (there has to be at least one??), there are over 100 racist, ignorant, pathetically stupid other repubes in the party...

    July 23, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  13. lew todd

    I just don't understand how these guys lost the Presidency in 2012???

    July 23, 2013 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  14. Gop usa

    Truth hurts don't it..........

    July 23, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  15. rs

    Another informed Republican... not!
    Even IF what he said was true- do we deny those here doing well at school? What does he propose to do with those who are here and have never lived in their "home" country? Have we no means whatsoever to deal with those (one time) drug mules ?
    This guy is the reason the GOP is losing voters so fast, and will never gain the Hispanic vote majority.

    July 23, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  16. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    What else would you expect to hear from the GOP garbage of America cheerleader!!!!!

    July 23, 2013 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  17. Randy, San Francisco

    Rep Steve King is the July politician of the month for the rebranded Republican Party. The Republican Party is still the party of angry old white men.

    July 23, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  18. ThinkAgain

    Wow. Reminds me of what folks used to say about THE IRISH.

    July 23, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  19. don in albuquerque

    Atta boy King!! Keep showing us what a Nut-ball you are.

    July 23, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  20. John in Brooklyn

    Let's put in terms an Iowan can understand...100 FARMERS for every valedictorian. And, by the way, that's a pretty high percentage, since most high schools have more than 101 kids per class.

    July 23, 2013 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain

    "Every member of the GOP should condemn Rep King for comparing the Dreamers to drug mules ... "

    Ah, but they won't, because the GOP is a bunch of whiny wusses who are so afraid of condemning their own and appearing to side with the Dems (resulting in being "primaried" at the behest of Rush Limbaugh and the Koch brothers) that they'll all stand in a circle and suck their thumbs, hoping that Rep. King will just go away ...

    July 23, 2013 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  22. Donkey Party

    King is the perfect poster boy for the racist GOP. They own racism.

    July 23, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  23. Chuck

    So you really think that people that have brains believe what you say about drug runners? Honestly, these t-b@ggers like king try to link everthing wrong in this country to immigrants. Hey pete, look further north at Humbolt county, Ca, Oregon and Washington for the real places weed comes from. Hell, almost nobody smokes that imported trash from mexico anymore.

    July 23, 2013 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  24. Tony in Maine

    Maybe we need to cut him some slack. He IS a Republican you know and they lack certain human traits – compassion, tolerance, common sense, knowing when to stifle...

    July 23, 2013 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  25. Logic Rules

    King is a buffoon...ideology stuffed down your throat at every turn...what a patriot

    July 23, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
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