Election Day 2016 is still nearly two years away, but Iowa Rep. Steve King is already making trouble for Republican presidential contenders.
The congressman issued yet another of his infamously off-color comments on undocumented immigrants in a tweet about the First Lady’s guest to the State of the Union on Tuesday night.
King was tweeting about 21-year-old Ana Zamora, the college senior joining the First Lady who benefitted from Obama’s 2012 executive action that deferred deportation for hundreds of thousands of young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, it’s drawn outspoken opposition from Republicans, who voted last week passed a symbolic measure overturning the order.
The Tea Party-backed Iowan isn’t known for his diplomacy on illegal immigration, however — he’s staunchly opposed to DACA and other measures that allow undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S., and once decried immigrants trying to cross the southern border with “calves the size of cantaloupes” from hauling marijuana across the desert.
But with 10 Republicans who have openly expressed their interest in a presidential bid planning to attend a conservative confab he’s hosting in Iowa this weekend, his comments are certain to put many of them in difficult spots.
Democrats were already asking the question, tying King’s latest remarks to comments 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said about encouraging undocumented immigrants to “self-deport.”
“These Romney-style ‘self deport’ type comments are what we’ve come to expect from Steve King but the important question is: do each and every potential 2016 GOP nominee who is attending his Freedom Summit this weekend in Iowa agree with King’s ‘deportable’ comment?” the Democratic National Committee asked in an email blast to reporters.