Iowa Representative Steve King was on the campaign trail last week when a reporter from the conservative Weekly Standard caught him on tape making what seemed to be thinly veiled attacks on Mexicans entering the United States. King talked about bringing in “dirt from Mexico” to grow jalapeno peppers for him. Many people, including the reporter from the Weekly Standard, believe that King was using the word “dirt” to refer to Mexicans. King said that there was “plenty of dirt” in the country, “coming from the West Coast” and a lot of other places too.
You can listen to the whole thing here:
It all happened a few minutes before King’s campaign event, at a restaurant in Webster City, Iowa. King was sitting around with about 15 of his supporters in the back of the restaurant when one of them asked him how his most recent pheasant hunting trip had gone. This is how King replied:
“I better not say so, because … if I told them then the animal rights activist will go ballistic. And so I tell them, this is my answer, I’ll say ‘it was a beautiful clear, still day, an October day in Iowa, the sky was blue, the air was moving just a little bit, and the sky was so full of feathers that one could be convinced the angels were having pillow fights.’ And we were well fed, I made a big ol’ batch of my patented pheasant noodle soup for everybody. It took us two days to eat it all, but everybody loved it. When I get it all put together then I put about a half a dozen jalapeno peppers, just whole, drop them floating around in there. It scares off some of the people so there’s a little more for the rest of us to eat. I raised a bunch this year, and they don’t have enough bite. I guess I’m going to have to go and get some dirt from Mexico to grow the next batch.”
At this point, King’s supporters burst out laughing — apparently the idea of getting dirt from Mexico was funny for them. One woman in the crowd said, “Trust me, it’s already on its way.”
King said, “Well, yeah, there’s plenty of dirt, it’s coming from the West Coast, too. And a lot of other places, besides. This is the most dirt we’ve ever seen.”
Rep. King Called the Weekly Standard Reporter a ‘Junkyard Dog’ After the Story Came Out
The Weekly Standard’s reporter, Adam Rubenstein, initially reported King’s comments last week, right after the campaign event. The original piece didn’t include audio; it just included Rubenstein’s account of what he saw and heard at the event in Webster City.
But King didn’t appreciate the account. He took to Twitter to accuse the Weekly Standard of making up the whole thing. His son, Jeff, said that Rubenstein had “fabricated” the whole thing. Over on Twitter, King accused the Weekly Standard — a conservative publication — of turning into “Antifa News.” He urged them to release the tape of the incident, writing, “Just release the full tape. Leftists lies exist without original sources because they are false and manufactured accusations. Weekly Standard is transitioning into “Antifa News”.
And so, the Weekly Standard released the tape.