There has already been ample speculation that Newt Gingrich’s remarks on immigration last night won’t play well in Iowa, and an interview influential Iowa conservative Rep. Steve King gave today is sure to further fuel that narrative.
“I think that when you give people even a promise that they can stay in the country after they’re here illegally you become more of a magnet and it is a form of amnesty and more people will come in counting on that,” King told Radio Iowa in reference to Gingrich’s comments.
Noting that many illegal immigrants “probably had false identification,” King expressed alarm about “allowing[ing] people to be rewarded for breaking the law.”
However, for a counterpoint, when I spoke to former Iowa state auditor Richard Johnson (who held that post for 24 years) earlier this month about Rick Perry’s immigration remarks and whether they had hurt him in Iowa, he seemed dubious that Hawkeye state voters were particularly interested in a candidate’s immigration views. “An awful lot of people in Iowa, they just aren’t close to the immigration issues,” he said.