In a tense confrontation on Univision late this week, Hispanic reporter Jorge Ramos questioned Rep. Steve King (R-IA) about remarks he made in 2012, where the congressman likened immigrants to dogs.
As Ramos pressed King on his comments, saying many people would view them as “offensive and racist,” King refused to apologize and even said that the remarks were meant as a compliment to immigrants.
In a 2012 town hall speech, King was filmed saying that America “has the pick of litter” when it comes to immigrants and it should pick the “friskier” ones, not the immigrant “that’s over there sleeping in the corner.”
Interestingly, King denied that he ever made the comparison and suggested that Ramos was misinterpreting the 2012 footage — even hinting that maybe Ramos’ alleged misunderstanding was due to a language barrier.
“Did you watch the video? People write things on the internet all the time,” King said. “But did you watch the video — the full video? That speech was about celebrating legal immigration. […] And anyone that understands the language in this culture knows that if they saw the video.”
As Ramos continued to push the issue, King claimed that the line of questioning was part of a larger attempt by the media and other pundits to “divide people by race,” reiterating his defense that the remarks were meant to compliment legal immigrants.
“You know it’s not complimentary to compare a group of immigrants to animals,” Ramos asserted.
“You know I didn’t do that if you watch the whole video,” King replied. “And I would challenge you to run the whole video on Univision. Run the whole video. Listen to the whole speech. Get a sense of what I was talking about rather than what the left wing blogs are doing. They are trying to divide us instead of let us be unified as one people in this country.”
Watch the full exchange in the video below.