FILE - In this June 8, 2018, file photo, U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, listens during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. On Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, the House voted 416-1 for a resolution repudiating King’s words expressing puzzlement about why terms like “white nationalist” are offensive. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

After years of King's remarks, why now for the GOP response?

January 15, 2019 - 6:36 pm

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Many Republicans who supported Iowa Rep. Steve King for years despite his contentious comments about race now appear to be turning their backs him.

The shift comes at a moment when the party is grappling with its stance on racial issues, in part because of President Donald Trump's own inflammatory racial rhetoric and hardline views on immigration. GOP leaders also have conceded that the party must do better with minority voters.

Bob Vander Plaats, an Iowa Republican who leads the conservative group The Family Leader, says the furor is genuine but also reflects King's narrow win in an overwhelmingly Republican district.

In a recent New York Times story, King expressed puzzlement about why terms like "white nationalist" are offensive. The House voted 424-1 Tuesday for a resolution repudiating King's words.

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