The Republican Party is in full meltdown mode over immigration reform as Republican strategist Ana Navarro told GOP Rep. Steve King (R-IA) to get therapy for his racist immigrant bashing.
Video via Meet The Press:
Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
KING: This proposes to legalize a lot of people that will include the people who are drug smugglers up to the age of 35. You cannot do a background check on people that don’t have a legal existence in their home country…
NAVARRO: First of all, I think Congressman King should get some therapy for his melon fixation. I think there might be medication for that. I think he’s a mediocre congressman with no legislative record and the only time he makes national press is when he comes out and says something offensive about the undocumented or Hispanics…. There are other voices who are the adults in the room and who are working hard towards a reform. and I think it’s going to happen. I’m more optimistic than most.
GREGORY: Before I let him go, he just heard that. Congressman King, do you want to respond to that in terms of what actually is going to get accomplished?
KING: Well, I would say this. First of all, I spoke only of drug smugglers. If Ana understands the language, she should know that. I didn’t insult her or other Republicans and I didn’t –
NAVARRO: I’m not undocumented. I vote, Congressman.
KING: So we should look at this from the big picture. There are people in America who are dying today because of our immigration policy and our open border. They’re part of this debate, too. where’s your compassion for the families who have lost their children and family members that are buried today because we didn’t enforce immigration law? You understand that 80% to 90% of the illegal drugs consumed in America come from or through Mexico. Terrorists infiltrate through that border. We need to secure the border first, restore the rule of law. Then we can have this discussion you want to get to without insulting people in the process.
NAVARRO: You’re going to talk to me about insulting people, congressman?
Republicans like Ana Navarro are trying to paint King as a bad apple who doesn’t represent the views of the rest of the Republican Party, but the truth is that King’s views are how a sizable number of Republicans view Hispanics. Many Republicans automatically assume that every Hispanic they see is an undocumented immigrant. Republicans like Navarro are the minority in their own party.
Rep. King’s views are nothing new. The exact same things that King is saying today were being said by a majority of his party when George W. Bush tried to get comprehensive immigration reform passed in 2007. Republicans can trot out Marco Rubio and pretend that the overt racism of Steve King is an isolated incident, but these sorts of attitudes have been dominating the Republican position on immigration for years.
What this dispute between Navarro and King was really centered around was the question of how to win elections. Navarro is a Republican strategist who sees reaching out to Hispanic voters as the key to taking back the Senate and White House. Rep. King sees the path to victory as continuing to court the white only vote, while suppressing the votes of all others.
Steve King was flat out promoting racism, and he probably does need therapy, but Rep. King can say horrible things about Hispanics because their is a huge group of Republicans that share his point of view.
The Republican Party is once again coming apart at the seams over immigration reform. There is no party unity on this issue. If Democrats keep pushing immigration reform, I suspect the GOP will be in complete disarray by the 2014 election.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association