CNN reports while some Republicans privately cheer, but not in Colorado:
Nine-term Congressman Steve King of Iowa will lose his Republican primary race to state Sen. Randy Feenstra on Tuesday, CNN projected, after King’s racist comments led to his ostracization in Washington and Feenstra mobilized conservative Republicans to his insurgent campaign.
“I called Randy Feenstra a little bit ago and conceded the race to him,” King said in a video posted to Facebook early Wednesday morning. “And I pointed out that there’s some powerful elements in the swamp that he’s going to have an awfully hard time pushing back against.”
…King, an anti-immigration hardliner, had a well-documented history of controversial statements during his nine terms in office. But only after a New York Times interview in January 2019, in which the congressman questioned how “white nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization” became offensive, did House Republican leaders rebuke him by stripping him of his committee assignments. Last June, the Trump administration barred him from Air Force One when the President visited his state.
Was Rep. King’s ineffectiveness or his racism the reason for his defeat? That seems to be the debate today, but both seem like bad answers for a party cementing its reputation ahead of another major election as both ineffective and racist.
You won’t find many who want to talk about it today, but Rep. Steve King of Iowa was at one point a popular guest on the GOP speaking circuit here in Colorado. King once came to Colorado specifically to headline a fundraiser for now-Sen. Cory Gardner, and was invited to speak at the Western Conservative Summit hosted by the Centennial Institute and Colorado Christian University. Local anti-immigrant firebrands like Tom Tancredo and more recently state Rep. Dave Williams of Colorado Springs have all expressed themselves to be big fans–and haven’t taken it back, even as that hasn’t aged well in the last couple of years.
Here are a few more images Colorado Republicans would rather stuff down the memory hole today:
It’s just another example of how Colorado Republicans have moved farther from the mainstream than what passes for the “Republican mainstream” today–which has itself moved so far right it is barely recognizable compared to even the last Republican administration. Just like not every Republican tolerated Tom Tancredo going all the way back to the Bush years, not every Republican is tainted by years of mutual support and admiration for Rep. Steve King.
But Colorado Republicans, with their own words and deeds, are tainted.