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Republicans Condemn Steve King for ‘Offensive’ Rape and Incest Comments

Rep. Steve King at CPAC 2016 (Gage Skidmore)

Rep. Steve King shocked across party lines Wednesday when he mused during a speech whether humanity would exist if it were not for rape and incest throughout history.

The Iowa Republican made the remarks while speaking about his opposition to exceptions for abortions in cases of rape and incest.

“We know the reasons why we don’t except exceptions, for most of us, for rape and incest, because it’s not the baby’s fault,” King told an audience at the Westside Conservative Club in Urbandale, Iowa. “But there’s another, I sort of wonder about this. What if it was okay and what if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled those people out that were products of rape and incest. Would there be any population in the world left if we did that?”

“Considering all the wars and all the rape and pillage that’s taken place,” the congressman continued. “I know I can’t certify that I’m not part of a product of that, and I’d like to think any one of the lives of us are as precious as any other life.”

King’s remarks precipitated swift condemnation from Democrats as well as members of his own party, who called the comments “appalling.”

“These comments are wrong, and offensive, and underscore why we removed him from his committees,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise said.

“As I’ve said before, it’s time for him to go. The people of Iowa’s 4th congressional district deserve better,” House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney wrote on Twitter, calling King’s remarks “appalling and bizarre.”

Conservative Republican Randy Feenstra, who has launched a primary challenge to King, said his opponents offensive remarks damage the pro-life cause.

“I am 100% pro-life but Steve King’s bizarre comments and behavior diminish our message & damage our cause. Trump needs defenders in Congress, not distractions,” the Iowa state senator wrote on Twitter.

Democratic presidential candidates and lawmakers also expressed disgust at King’s comments and called on him to be replaced.

The backlash against King comes after he outraged both parties earlier this year by asking, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” Those remarks led GOP leadership to strip King of his committee posts.

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