King blasts Gardner: ‘He caved’

In an interview Wednesday with Fox News, conservative Iowa U.S. Rep. Steve King blasted Colorado Fourth District GOP candidate Cory Gardner. King accused Gardner of spinelessness for canceling a joint-campaign event this weekend after King made headlines for saying he thought Pres. Obama exhibited favoritism toward black people.

“[Gardner] simply caved in at the first sign of friction” without “bothering to call me,” King told Fox. He elaborated to the Omaha World-Herald. “[He’s] not the kind of [person] I want guarding my back.”

“I’m offended by Eric Holder and the president also, their posture,” King told G. Gordon Liddy’s radio audience Monday. “It looks like Eric Holder said that white people in America are cowards when it comes to race. The president has demonstrated that he has a default mechanism in him that breaks down the side of race on the side that favors the black person in the case of professor Gates and officer Crowley.”

King was referring to the incident in Boston where black Harvard Prof. Henry Louis Gates was arrested for breaking into his own home by white police officer James Crowley.

King’s remarks rocketed around the mediasphere but they were just the latest King comments to create a stir. The western-district Iowa Representative is well-known for a long list of incendiary remarks. He was clearly invited to the Pepper Pod “Afternoon with Cory Gardner” event in Hudson and given high billing precisely to draw on his ability to rally right-wing talk-radio listeners and activist voters.

Gardner didn’t call King after the cancellation and he didn’t give any reason for the cancellation to the press. He has yet to disavow King’s statement about Obama or distance himself from any other of King’s political views. Indeed, Gardner has made news in the past for perceived pandering to the far-right crowd while campaigning in the district over the past year. At one event he played coy on the so-called birther question, where Obama is believed to be hiding the fact that he’s not a native-born citizen of the country and therefore ineligible for the presidency.

“The administration is trying to say he was born in this country,” Gardner told a man who asked him at a forum whether he thought the president was a “natural born citizen.” Gardner later told the Denver Post he did believe the President was a natural born citizen.

“Cory believes there’s probably, from the little bit that he has read on it, Obama is most likely a citizen,” campaign manager Mike Ciletti told the Fort Collins Colordoan at the time. “But he finds it very curious that this could all be ended if he just released the long-form birth certificate and put it to bed.”

Leslie Hollywood, director of the Northern Colorado Tea Party, was much more forthcoming about her reasons for canceling an invitation extended to King for an event with her group this weekend.

“Although the tea party does respect free speech for all Americans, including Congressman Steve King, we do not feel his remarks align with the mission and vision of the Northern Colorado Tea Party,” she said in a release.

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