'I don't feel guilty one bit.'
Republican leaders have given Rep. Steve King (R-IA) a free pass for retweeting a self-described "Nazi sympathizer," and now an emboldened King refuses to apologize or remove the offending message.
On Tuesday night's edition of "Cuomo Prime Time," host Chris Cuomo asked King why he refused to apologize for or delete the tweet, if he doesn't share the views of the person who sent it.
"I'm not deleting that," King said. "Because then you pile on me and say 'King apologized. He's wrong. He knows he's guilty.' I'm not. I don't feel guilty one bit. I'm human."
"You said don't give the guy a platform, but you won't take down the retweet, so you're giving him a platform," Cuomo pointed out.
King continued to insist that he would not take down the tweet, and one possible reason for that insistence became clear when Cuomo tried to point out the reaction from Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI).
"It's going to stay on my website as long as it takes," King said.
"Even though he's about ugly ideas," Cuomo said. "Even Paul Ryan, who is not in the mode of getting into fights with his own, said there's no place for this in the dialogue."
"Paul Ryan didn't say anything," King said with a smirk. "His spokesperson made a general comment that didn't even have any name in it."
King has a long and ugly history of openly racist remarks and support for extremist policies. Last August, for example, King said immigrants brought to this country as young children should be turning their parents over to the government and asking "should have the law enforced against them."
And the openly racist congressman is correct that Ryan hasn't condemned King for spreading Nazi propaganda. Instead, Ryan's spokesperson issued a vague statement that "the speaker has said many times that Nazis have no place in our politics, and clearly members should not engage with anyone promoting hate."
Ryan found his own voice, though, when he demanded an apology from Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters for saying members of the Trump administration should be publicly shamed for their complicity in his horrific policy of tearing children from their families at the border.
That Ryan would condemn Waters, but not King, is a message King obviously heard loud and clear.
So of course King isn't sorry. He has no reason to be sorry for spreading the message of a neo-Nazi when his fellow Republicans have made it clear through their silence they have no problem with it.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.