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Boehner clashes with fellow GOP Rep. King over controversial immigration remarks
House Speaker Boehner clashed with his fellow Republican Rep. Steve King on Thursday over controversial comments King made about illegal immigration, calling them “deeply offensive and wrong.”
King has been under fire after suggesting to a conservative news website last week that many illegal immigrants in the U.S. are drug runners
“For every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert,” King said.
Boehner issued a written statement criticizing King earlier in the week, but took it a step further Thursday by publicly calling King out by name at his weekly press conference.
“I want to be clear. There’s no place in this debate for hateful or ignorant comments from elected officials,” Boehner said.
“What he said does not reflect the values of the American people or the Republican Party,” the speaker said, “and we all need to do our work in a constructive, open and respectful way.”
Boehner also said that King’s comments made grappling with immigration legislation more difficult, “but I’m going to continue to work with members who want to get to a solution, as opposed to those who want to do nothing.”
King’s comments began to circulate widely on Tuesday, drawing condemnation from Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., other Republicans and numerous Democrats including White House press secretary Jay Carney.