GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy welcomed on Tuesday the endorsement of controversial former nine-term Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa, who House Republicans turned their backs against five years ago over his comments about race, immigration and the border wall.
“I’m proud to have Steve King’s endorsement, and I think that he has been wrongfully villainized by a media that has not once quoted the alleged racist remark or whatever it is that he made, and I just reject a lot of this mainstream media narrative thing,” Ramaswamy said on camera to a reporter in a clip shared by King on X.
“But for my purposes, he and I have found common cause in issues that no other Republican candidate is speaking to – against the CO2 pipeline using eminent domain to seize the land of innocent farmers who don’t want that built in their backyards. Somebody who actually, before it was cool, was calling for building the wall. Now something we accept needs to be normalized policy in this country,” Ramaswamy said. “And so yes, I’m proud to have his endorsement, and I’ve met so many Iowans on the ground who are very different from the media who understand somebody actually stood to represent their interests saying the things that other people weren’t willing to say on issues ranging from the carbon capture pipeline to actually securing our borders, to actually reviving our national identity and even making English the national language of the United States, which I agree with. And so I’m proud to have his endorsement. I’m not a political analyst, that’s your job. Maybe you should try doing it.”
King captioned the X post, writing, “Vivek Ramaswamy speaking Truth to Fiction!”
In a video statement earlier Tuesday, King announced his endorsement of Ramaswamy as the “strongest voice we have that will defend our Constitution and restore the pillars of American exceptionalism.”
“Vivek is gonna stand up and is standing up for the rights of We The People. He will build the wall on the border for real, and I’m asking you to come with me on January 15. Caucus for Vivek Ramaswamy, the strongest voice we have to defend our Constitution and to reestablish America’s destiny,” King said.
In 2019, House Republicans under then-Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., booted King from three congressional committee assignments, and all House Republicans joined Democrats in voting for a resolution of disapproval of King following a New York Times interview in which the longtime Iowa congressman, known for his incendiary remarks, commented about immigration and then-President Trump’s border wall.
They took issue at the time with King remarking to the Times, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
In the interview, King said he supported legal immigration and people fully assimilating into the “the culture of America.” After the story was published, he issued a statement calling himself a “nationalist” and defending support of “western civilization’s values,” though clarifying he did not advocate for “white nationalism and white supremacy.”
“I want to make one thing abundantly clear: I reject those labels and the evil ideology they define,” he wrote in 2019.
King ultimately lost his re-election bid in 2020 against then-state Sen. Randy Feenstra.
Ramaswamy himself on the GOP debate stage last month said that the Great Replacement Theory, which some critics condemn as racist for suggesting non-European immigrants in the United States are being used to supplant White voters, “is not some grand right-wing conspiracy theory but a basic statement of the Democratic Party’s platform.”