Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King uttered those words and more this morning on a local Iowa radio interview. These statements aren’t helping McCain as he’s spending time disassociating himself with them. Furthermore, King was a known McCain supporter which also means damage control will be happening soon.
Here’s the story on it from Radio Iowa:
Western Iowa Congressman Steve King says al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorists around the globe will be “dancing in the streets” if Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is elected president.
“I don’t want to disparage anyone because of their race, their ethnicity, their name, whatever the religion of their father might have been. I’ll just say this, that when you think about the optics of a Barack Obama potentially getting elected president of the United States, I mean, what does this look like to the rest of the world? What does this look like to the world of Islam?” King said Friday during an interview in KICD studios in Spencer. “And I will tell you that if he is elected president, then the radical islamists, the al Qaida and the radical Islamists and their supporters Will be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on September 11th.”
King, a Republican from Kiron, endorsed GOP candidate Fred Thompson before the Iowa Caucuses. He now supports the party’s presumptive nominee, John McCain. A spokesman for Obama’s campaign During the interview in Spencer, King attacked Obama’s promise to pull American troops out of Iraq and questioned the impact Obama’s heritage might have on the rest of the world. Obama’s father was Kenyan and Obama’s middle name is Hussein.
Here’s a player with the full audio, give it a listen:
Rep. King Audio
Click play to listen
Also, King was on Geraldo at Large earlier this evening to explain the remarks:
Obama and McCain have both responded to this, story from Political Punch:
Obama spox Bill Burton: â€œThese comments have no place in our politics, and we hope Senator McCain will repudiate them like he has previous offensive comments from his supporters.â€
McCain spox Jill Hazelbaker: “Our position on this is very clear. We are against the kind of politics that divide and degrade people in the process.”
The implications here are mainly that any criticism similar to this is going to be taken with a racial or religious component. If you believe “terrorists will dance in the streets” because of Obama’s policies, how do you separate that from what Steve King said?
This is a sample of the touchy ground Republicans will be wading through if Obama becomes the nominee.