King apologizes for white nationalist comments, Iowa party chairs respond

(KCRG) -- Iowa's fourth district congressman Steve King, who is a republican, is apologizing for comments he made in a New York Times article. In the article, he questions why words like white nationalist and white supremacist are offensive. Friday he said he doesn't believe in the message behind those words.

"There's nothing about my family or my history or my neighborhood or my -- that would suggest that these false allegations could be supported by any activity whatsoever. I reject that ideology. I defend American civilization which is an essential component of Western civilization," King said.

King has received criticism from democrats and republicans across the nation, including the republican and democratic party chairs in Iowa.

"The word white supremacy is offensive to me. It's offensive to the Republican Party of Iowa. We are the party of Lincoln. And I think the ideology is nonsense and quite frankly I think the use of the word is inappropriate," Jeff Kaufmann, Republican Party of Iowa chair, said.

"The simple fact of the matter is Steve King has overstayed his welcome," Troy Price, Democratic Party of Iowa Chair, said. "In spite of all of the things he has said, he has not done anything for the Fourth District. And I think that is why we got as close as we ever have in our last election cycle."

Both men made those comments on a taping for Iowa Public Television's show Iowa Press. It airs Sunday at noon.