WASHINGTON — A veteran Republican congressman is voicing support for a right-wing Dutch politician who opposes immigration and has spoken against Islam. Rep. Steve King of Iowa, in a tweet Sunday, paid tribute to Geert Wilders, a veteran member of the Dutch Parliament who founded the Party of Freedom. It came as the Dutch prepare for an election Wednesday.
In the post on his verified Twitter account, King, who has served in the U.S. House since his election in 2002, said: Wilders “understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”
King is among conservatives who have strongly advocated an end to the U.S. practice of granting automatic citizenship to children born here to parents who are in the country illegally. In 2013 he made comments refuting the notion that undocumented immigrants are high-achieving students by stating that for every valedictorian who is legalized, there are hundreds that “weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”
He received criticism from public figures and politicians from both sides of the aisle for his tweet on Sunday.
David Duke, former Ku Klux Klan leader, tweeted praise for King.
King came under fire last year as well when he asked what “subgroups” contributed more to civilization than white people.
King defended his tweet Monday telling CNN’s “New Day,” “Well, of course I meant exactly what I said.”