Congressman Steve King (R-IA), who is one of the fiercest opponents of immigration and immigrants in the House of Representatives, did an interview with Univision reporter Jorge Ramos a few days ago. You may not be surprised to learn that it didn’t go well.
Ramos challenged King on his comments from 2012 comparing immigrants to dogs. King, apparently realizing that the video record would call him out if he denied that he had made the statement, tries to spin the comment by saying “it was a very complimentary speech…”
Apparently King thinks that comments such as these are “complimentary”:
You want a good bird dog? You want one that’s going to be aggressive? Pick the one that’s the friskiest … not the one that’s over there sleeping in the corner.
You get the pick of the litter and you got yourself a pretty good bird dog. Well, we’ve got the pick of every donor civilization on the planet. We’ve got the vigor from the planet to come to America.
King responds to Ramos’s challenge in a condescending manner, telling him
That speech was about legal immigration…and anyone who understands the language and the culture knows that if they saw the video. [Emphasis added]
Ramos offers King a chance to apologize for his comparison of immigrants and dogs, but King doesn’t take it. Rather he chooses to ignore Ramos and instead talks past him, using the time honored Republican tactic of blaming those who reported what he said as the cause of the problem.
Ramos: So you don’t want to apologize for that comment?
King: That was the speech, and it’s been mischaracterized by people on the left, it has been intentionally and dishonestly done so, to drive wedges between people on the base of race.
Once again Ramos tries to get King to say that he did not compare immigrants to dogs, and once again King dodges, coming back to his main talking point that he was complimenting legal immigrants. But finally he issues the denial that Ramos was looking for.
Ramos: So from your point of view, you actually didn’t compare immigrants to dogs?
King: I said that speech was about the vigor of legal immigration. It was a very complimentary speech, and no, I did not do that.
Here’s the video:
So, the question remains, did Representative King compare illegal immigrants to dogs in 2012, or not? He challenged Ramos several times to “look at the video.” So, let’s look at the video:
King seems to be obsessed with comparisons between immigrants and animals. In a 2006 speech on the House floor discussing his idea for an electrified fence for the U.S.’s southern border King observed “we do this with livestock all the time.”
King could have talked about legal immigrants like Albert Einstein or even Arnold Schwarzenegger to make his point about immigration. Instead he chose to compare immigrants to animals, again. Either the congressman sets out to be deliberately offensive and antagonistic, or he just doesn’t have a clue.