SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Mitt Romney and Rep. Chris Stewart want an Iowa GOP congressman to resign over comments he made about the terms “white nationalist” and “white supremacist.”
CNN reporter Manu Raju tweeted Monday that Romney, R-Utah, said there’s no place in Congress for Rep. Steve King.
“I think he ought to step aside and I think Congress ought make it very clear he has no place there,” Romney said.
Romney went on say King "ought to resign and move on and let someone else who represents American values take his seat. What he said about white supremacy is unacceptable, and he should find a different line of work," according to his office.
Stewart, R-Utah, said on CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time" that King has become ineffective.
"It's not the first time that he has said things that the party just cringes at and says, 'What in the world is he saying?'" Stewart said. "I wish he would resign, frankly. … He's lost the faith and the trust of his comrades."
In an interview with the New York Times, King asked, "White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?"
King later issued a statement saying he “rejects” the labels “white nationalism and white supremacy.” But his remarks are just the latest in a yearslong pattern of using offensive and crude language to describe people of color, according to Politico.
House GOP leadership stripped King of his committee assignments, including his seat on the Judiciary Committee. House Democrats could vote as early Tuesday on a resolution to censure King.
Former Utah Republican Rep. Mia Love, now a CNN political commentator, said on "The Van Jones Show" over the weekend that King's comments hurt the GOP.
"We need other Republicans saying we don't believe in this. He has got to go. This doesn't represent who we are," she said.
Romney has earlier said he would speak out against President Donald Trump if he makes divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant or dishonest statements. He called on the president apologize for blaming both sides for the deadly racially motivated shooting in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.73 comments on this story
Asked about King's comments Monday, Trump told reporters, "I haven’t been following it. I really haven’t been following it."
Trump campaigned for King in Iowa last year.
In addition to Romney, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., also weighed in on King.
"There is no place in the Republican Party, the Congress or the country for an ideology of racial supremacy of any kind," he said. "I have no tolerance for such positions and those who espouse these views are not supporters of American ideals and freedoms. Rep. King's statements are unwelcome and unworthy of his elected position."