CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) — Controversial comments, visits and imagery is nothing new for Congressman King, but his recent actions viewed in the aftermath of the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue have begun to turn some Republicans away from the 8-term Congressman from Iowa.
Protesters showed up in Des Moines Thursday outside of a candidate forum Rep. King was taking part in. Kaleb Van Fosson, a member of the group Citizens for Community Improvement, and an Ames resident represented by King on Capitol Hill, was shouted down by his representative when he tried to compare his views to that of the Pittsburgh gunman.
"You and the shooter both share an ideology that is anti-immigration...." said Van Fosson. That's when King fired back. "No, don't you do that, do not associate me with that shooter, I knew you were an ambusher when you walked in the room." King said.
Van Fosson tried to continue his line of questioning but King threatened to leave until an organizer stepped in, telling Van Fosson he felt King had answered his question. When Van Fosson asked King if he identified as a white supremacist, King yelled "Stop it!" A short time later, Van Fosson and another man were led out of the forum.
A growing number of Republicans have disavowed King in recent days, including Rep. Steve Stivers, who is also the Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Also this week, Jacy Gomez, a former staffer to Senator Chuck Grassley, penned an op-ed for CNN saying "I am an Iowan. I am a Republican. Steve King does not represent my values. It's time to vote him out of office."
As for Senator Grassley, he says as a resident of King's 4th District, he can still count on his vote.