King’s Democratic challenger slams his “unacceptable” abortion comments
J.D. Scholten, the Democrat running to replace Representative Steve King in the House, denounced the Republican’s comments on abortion as “entirely unacceptable” and “disrespectful to survivors.”
“Yet again, Steve King puts his selfish, hateful ideology above the needs of the people of Iowa’s 4th district,” Scholten said in a statement. “His comments are disrespectful to survivors and don’t reflect Iowan values. We stand for bringing all people together and fighting for the positive change that we desperately need here in Iowa.”
Scholten recently announced he would once again attempt to unseat King after narrowly losing to the incumbent Republican last year. King’s unexpectedly close race has also spurred fellow Republicans to launch primary challenges against him.
Representative Steve King has previously attracted controversy for comments about pregnancy resulting from rape or incest.
During his re-election campaign in 2012, King was asked by a reporter about Medicaid covering abortion for victims of statutory rape or incest. “Well,” King told the reporter, “I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way, and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.”
That remark prompted outcry and comparisons to then-Representative Todd Akin, who was denounced for saying that pregnancy from rape was “really rare.” “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down,” Akin said.
But King later denied claims that he had been making a similar argument. “I never said, nor do I believe, a woman, including minors, cannot get pregnant from rape, statutory rape or incest,” King said in a later statement.
Democrats express outcry over Steve King’s comments on rape and inest
Democratic presidential candidates and lawmakers are expressing outrage about Representative Steve King’s comments that rape and incest have helped fuel population growth.
The Iowa Republican told a local conservative group that he opposed abortion even in cases of rape or incest because, “What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled out anyone who was a product of rape or incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?”
Democratic presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand said the Iowa congressman should resign over the comments:
One of her opponents, Beto O’Rourke, called on his supporters to donate to the campaign of King’s Democratic rival:
And Democratic Senator Brian Schatz noted that Republican presidential candidates in 2016 welcomed King’s support:
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez cited Ken Cuccinelli’s comments about the Statue of Liberty to urge her Twitter followers to register to vote.
The progressive congresswoman is only the latest Democrat to condemn Cuccinelli’s remarks. The acting director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services told CNN last night that the poem at the State of Liberty refers to “people coming from Europe, where they had class-based societies.”
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke said Cuccinelli’s comment proved that Trump officials “think the Statue of Liberty only applies to white people.”
GOP congressman says rape and incest have helped population growth
Republican Representative Steve King has once again reinforced his reputation for defending his controversial positions with even more controversial comments.
Explaining his opposition to abortion even in cases of rape or incest, the Iowa Republican told a local conservative group, “What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled out anyone who was a product of rape or incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?”
King added, “Considering all the wars and all the rapes and pillages that happened throughout all these different nations, I know that I can’t say that I was not a part of a product of that.”
The nine-term congressman was stripped of his committee assignments earlier this year after he told the New York Times that he didn’t understand how terms like “white nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization” had “become offensive.”
In the same appearance where he made his abortion comments, King claimed the coverage of his racist comments was just of a media plot to oust him from Congress. “People think it was an organic media feeding frenzy, but no, it was orchestrated from the beginning,” he said. “They had told me, heads up before Christmas, they’re going to try to drive you out of office and get you to resign. Within 24 hours, you had people saying ‘resign, resign, resign.’ Why? Because the New York Times misquoted me?”
Despite the backlash over those comments, King is still running for re-election next year and has already attracted challenges from Democrats and fellow Republicans.
Another Republican senator, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, put out a statement expressing support for the Hong Kong protesters and criticizing the Chinese government.
“America has always stood alongside freedom-seekers because – unlike the corrupt Communist elites in Beijing – we believe in universal human dignity,” Sasse said.
He urged the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, to “think very carefully about the fallout of violating Hong Kong’s internationally recognized autonomy.”
“America must stand with the protesters,” Sasse concluded. “The world is watching.”
More lawmakers from both parties are expressing support for the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
The leading Democrat and Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee have just issued a statement warning that any effort by the Chinese government to force an end to the demonstrations “would be met with universal condemnation and swift consequences.”
“The House Foreign Affairs Committee has called upon Beijing to cease encroaching on Hong Kong’s autonomy — it is Beijing’s actions that are at the root of the frustration among the people of Hong Kong,” Democrat Eliot Engel and Republican Michael McCaul said. “No foreign powers are fomenting this dissent. It is the result of Beijing’s successive violations of their commitment to honor the will of the people of Hong Kong.
“We have deep respect for the brave efforts of Hong Kong people from every walk of life who have demonstrated their clear desire for freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.”
State Department issues travel advisory for Hong Kong
The US State Department has issued a travel advisory for Hong Kong, warning Americans there to “[e]xercise increased caution … due to civil unrest.”
“Since June 2019, several large scale and smaller political demonstrations have taken place in various areas of Hong Kong, including at Hong Kong International Airport. Most have been peaceful, but some have turned confrontational or resulted in violent clashes,” the department said in a notice posted to its website.
“Police have used a variety of crowd control measures, including the deployment of tear gas. The protests and confrontations have spilled over into neighborhoods other than those where the police have permitted marches or rallies. These demonstrations, which can take place with little or no notice, are likely to continue.”
Here’s where the day stands so far:
- Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the Hong Kong protests were an “internal matter,” echoing a talking point from the Chinese government.
- Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, was slammed for saying the poem at the Statue of Liberty refers to “people coming from Europe, where they had class-based societies.” Crtics argued he was saying the American dream should only be made available to white people.
- US stocks have tumbled as signs intensify that the economy may be headed toward a recession.
- Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams said she would consider becoming the vice-president of “any nominee.”
The blog is keeping its eye on gun-control negotiations and the latest from Hong Kong, so stay tuned.
Commerce secretary says Hong Kong protests are an ‘internal matter’
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross appeared to reiterate a talking point from the Chinese government when he was asked about the Hong Kong protests.
Appearing on CNBC, Ross was pressed on whether the US had relinquished its role as a supporter of democracies around the world. “What would we do, invade Hong Kong?” Ross asked with a laugh.
“The president has made it clear that he is watching very carefully what’s happening,” Ross added. Trump said yesterday that the protests were a “very tough situation” but refrained from criticizing China over the demonstration. “I’m sure it’ll work out,” Trump said. “I hope it works out for everybody, including China.”
Ross went on to tell CNBC, “He talked about the possibility of troop build-up and it’s not that we are not watching it, it’s a question of what role is there for the US in that matter. This is an internal matter.”
The “internal matter” line was echoed in a statement yesterday from China’s Foreign Ministry. “We solemnly remind you this plain truth: Hong Kong affairs are entirely China’s internal affairs, and you are neither entitled nor qualified to wantonly comment on them,” the ministry said. “Mind your own business and stay out of Hong Kong affairs.”
US stocks tumble amid signs of a recession
The Dow Jones is currently down more than 500 points, erasing all of yesterday’s gains, as signs intensify that the US economy could be headed toward a recession.
The bond yield curve has inverted, signaling investors’ uncertainty about the country’s economic future. An inverted yield curve has preceded every recession for the past five decades, the Washington Post notes, and is thus considered one of the more reliable signs of an economic downturn.
The market tumble comes one day after stocks jumped with the news that the Trump administration was delaying some of its tariffs on Chinese imports. But the good news was clearly short-lived, which the president unsurprisingly appears to be blaming on the Federal Reserve: