Union launches ads using widely condemned words from congressman
July 28th, 2013
12:54 PM ET
5 years ago

Union launches ads using widely condemned words from congressman

Washington (CNN) - A major union pushing for immigration reform will launch a new Spanish-language online ad campaign on Monday that highlights comments by Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa, which were widely condemned as reprehensible because he portrayed many of the children of undocumented immigrants as drug traffickers.

The ad from the Service Employees International Union will run in the districts of seven House Republicans. They use King’s comments from an interview earlier this month with the conservative media outlet Newsmax, where he discussed children of immigrants who want to gain U.S. citizenship if they have graduated high school or served in the military - the so-called “DREAMers.”

King said: “For every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds, and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

The new ad, called “Otra Vez” - which means “once again” in English – says, “Once again, the debate over immigration reform has devolved to the lowest level by offensive comments and actions by extreme Republicans in Congress.”

It goes on to say, “This is offensive and an insult to our community. It’s time that Republicans choose between extremism or progress.”

King, one of the most conservative House Republicans on dealing with illegal immigration, came under withering criticism from members of both parties, including House Speaker John Boehner, for the remarks.

But in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, King did not back down.

“You only get one valedictorian per class per year. And they aren't all DREAMers,” he said on Wednesday. “And a lot of other American kids out here that are competing for that valedictorian status. But every night there are dozens and scores of people that are smuggling drugs across our border.”

“I've been down there multiple times,” King continued. “I've sat along the border at night. I've traveled with the Border Patrol for days on end…This isn't something that just was made up out of thin air. This is something I get from the people enforcing the law down on the border.”

SEIU, which is spending five figures for the online buy, is running the ad in the districts of Reps. Cory Miller, R-California; Howard McKeon, R-California; Scott Tipton, R-Colorado; Daniel Webster, R-Florida; Joe Heck, R-Nevada; Mark Amodei, R-Nevada; and Randy Weber, R-Florida - all who represent districts with substantial Latino populations, union officials say.

Filed under: Immigration • SEIU • Steve King
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Ed1

    One of the problems in Detroit are the Unions and they continue to hurt us with their out of control people who will just as soon as punch if you say anything against them

    They are a bunch of out dated thugs who cry all the way to the bank.

    As far as illegal immigrants goes they will take union jobs that how stupid the unions are.

    Our tax dollars should not be used for any Union jobs period.

    July 28, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  2. Hector Slagg

    Aw, Well,
    If you are waiting for the people (Congress) to grant Citizenship, (Amnesty) to the 11 Million or so in the U.S. dream on. Of the 100 most important items the congress needs to do Immigration Reform is not in the top 500. If you are waiting for the people, (Congress) to grant illegal's special favors you will be waiting well into your next lifetime. Want to become a U.S. Citizen? Clue. Return to your own country and get in line. That is the shortest route to U.S. Citizenship.

    July 28, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  3. rla

    too bad king has a point- the drug trade as much as anyting fuels this flow of people so as the saying goes " Don't cry for me _____"!

    July 28, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  4. Tony

    Say, what happened to that outreach effort to Latinos, Republicans? Don't you see that after Steve King's remark, even Latinos who are U.S. citizens will have to prove that they are not drug runners?

    July 28, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    The Mexicans know they have lots of drug cartel people in their midst. That isn't going to come as any surprise, to them, that someone actually NOTICED! They are already, very well aware!

    July 28, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  6. Marie MD

    At least he doesn't back down from what he truly believes. So unrethug like but so christian of his.

    July 28, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  7. Barry In Las Vegas

    Isn't it amazing how Democrats and Unions can get away with promoting hate and there is no outrage by CNN or the rest of the MSM. I live in Las Vegas – how about printing the story about how this union rounded up Spanish speaking people and tracked their voting and harassed them, threating them with loss of job if they didn't vote and vote for Obama until they actually voted. All documented and printed in the local newspaper.

    July 28, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  8. Richard T.

    Great! It is never to late to stop the biggoted GOP.

    July 28, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  9. Peter

    *Pats King on the head* did those nice Border Patrol agents start laughing after they "told you" that "there are hundreds of DREAMers down here smuggling drugs?" Any high fives? Either this guy is on drugs himself and hallucinated these conversations with the Border Patrol, or they were messin with him.

    July 28, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  10. McBlaine

    I don't want illegal in this country or their children. Citizenship comes from being a legal citizen.

    July 28, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  11. 1twinsfan

    That border is MO, doofus, and being your school's valedictorian isn't dependent upon your ethnicity but upon your academic achievements. I don't think Rep. King is even aware that the majority of Hispanics in the US have very old roots in this country. He views all tan people as illegal Mexicans. The Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, Hondurans. Yup, illegal Mexicans, every last one of 'em.

    July 28, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  12. never to vote republican again

    Vote the stupid hateful GOP out in 2014!

    July 28, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  13. Kinard

    Let them speak all they want. The more their mouth opens, the more votes they lose. Good riddance to rubbish.

    July 28, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. Name kingdom

    99% Of people from Iowa don't even know where the border is!!! I wonder if king went to the right border.

    July 28, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  15. Ron L

    EXCUSE ME, ONLY A KNUCKLEHEAD would blame the unions for the problems in Detroit. You have to remember two things, 1) If the city government agrees to a certain pension plan and they are "supposed" to be setting money aside YEARLY to cover that agreement. If that city government decides not to set these funds aside because of other issues that is the city government problems. Similar to when the Federal Government kept borrowing from the Social Security fund and then makes it sound like the problem is the number of retirees. It's just not true. Here is one other fact for those of you who like to blame the UNIONS for everything. Since the number of Americans that are union members has declined, wages have been stagnant. Now many people will try to blame globalization. If that were true wouldn't those at the top 2% of the American economy be experiencing stagnation in their incomes as well? Clearly they have not, several of them have seen their wages / earnings increase 20+% during the same period. Greed is the problem and lack of compassion for those of us who are less skilled but hard working!! There is NO SOUND reason the minimum wage isn't at $10.00 or maybe a little more. Do many of you know that some of these minimum wage paying companies will take an employee who has worked 50 hours in one week will REFUSE to pay them the full fifty hours on one pay check just to keep from paying them overtime?? Did you know that many of these companies have decided to pay their employees using a Debit Card in which they have to pay fees to get their own money!!!! These things are NOT OPTIONAL it was just determined by the company to save them money. You see without unions many people are like cattle, just expendable. It is sad, and frankly the ONLY thing that will change this is the return of enough unions to SCARE some of these companies to treat employees better. Trust me, I know, when I worked for Target the mere mentioning of the word unionizing scares them like nothing else because they KNOW how poorly they really treat their employees and to be forced to treat them better or face a walk out....it will be LONG OVERDUE!!!

    July 28, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  16. Ed1

    The republicans are not hateful people they just say what needs to be said.

    If you want to come in this Country go thru the front door not the back.

    Send home the 11 million and see how many jobs they will create for American Citizens who did come in the front door.

    All the Democrats want to do is give everything away to people who didn't earn so they can get more votes.

    This is how socialism works get the people hooked on the Government paying for everything then all you will have are stupid people walking around say what happened we are not free anymore.

    Look at history and you will see what I mean.

    We don't have enough people that even think all they do is what they are told to by the liberal press and most Democrats.

    What party pushed for the end of slaves and civil rights it was the Republican party if you don't think so look it up if you can.

    July 28, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  17. Donkey Party

    It's not just King, look at all the hate-filled, racist comments the right-wingers leave here.

    July 28, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  18. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Hey gop, your losing the house and senate in 2014, do you think you win votes by your incompetent and party of stupid behavior,GOP morons, if they don't care if you vote for them, reward them by voting dem, Thanks GOP losers!!!!

    July 28, 2013 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  19. Phil Thomas

    We are the greatest country in the world and this message board full of its bigotry and hatred is proof of that. Your allowed your opinion no matter how reprehensible or delusional tan you have the trolls earning a pay check from the right to post nonsense. How did trying to make Obama a one term president go for you schmucks

    July 28, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  20. pkrbkr3

    Steve King....king of hate! What a despicable man! Iowa, you deserve better.

    July 28, 2013 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain

    @Ed1: Detroit's problem was it hired a bankruptcy lawyer to get its financial house in order. Guess what he advised? Bankruptcy!

    July 28, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  22. plain&simple

    When a bigot says something bigoted...they don't think they have done anything wrong! They believe they are courageous and telling the truth. How do you deal with that ???

    July 28, 2013 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  23. Robert Morales

    Aside from the obvious, I really have one question: Does that workout really work?! I mean, will I weigh 130 lbs with calves the size of cantaloupes if I haul 75 lbs of marijuana across the desert? And how long of a desert are we talking about? Also, can I do this at night when the sun is not out? Oh, last question, does it have to be marijuana or can it be 75lbs of something less bulky? It's in my genes, I guess...

    July 28, 2013 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  24. J.V.Hodgson

    Why Not make Mexico the 53rd state of the union!?
    Only joking, but the king guy just forgot, that marijuana is now legal in most states. so you don't need cantaloupe muscle youths to ship it in any more!!

    July 29, 2013 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  25. Huston5

    Deport all and close boarders. I blame my government they need to get this under control. I you are not a citizen of MY United States No jobs No free Education No food stamps No medical

    July 29, 2013 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
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