CNN: Rep. Steve King (R-IA) talks with CNN's Chris Cuomo to defend a controversial passage in a tweet supporting Dutch politician Geert Wilders which read, "we cannot defend our civilization with someone else's babies."
Transcript, via CNN:
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN: Right now let's bring in Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa. Congressman, always a pleasure to have you on the show. You have your own comments to explain this morning. You tweeted support of Mr. Wilders who's running for Prime Minister in the Netherlands. You wrote Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We cannot restore our civilization with somebody else's babies. This is being condemned by many regions of American politics and citizenry. What did you mean?
REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: Of course I meant exactly what I said as is always the case, Chris. To expand on that a little further, I've been to Europe and spoken on this issue and I've said the same thing as far as ten years ago to the German people and any population of people that is a declining population that isn't willing to have enough babies to reproduce themselves.
I've said to them you can't rebuild your civilization with somebody else's babies. You've got to keep your birth rate up and you need to teach your children your values. In doing so, you can grow your population and strengthen your culture, strengthen your way of life.
That's not happening in any of the Western European countries. France comes the closest to having a birth rate that's a replacement rate. It's a clear message we need to get our birth rates up, or Europe will be entirely transformed within a half century or more. And Geert Wilders knows that. That's part of his campaign and part of his agenda.
CUOMO: If you want to apply that kind of thinking to America, it seems like a complete contradiction of what we're all about. This is the melting pot. We are known by those countries as the bastion of diversity. It's an unqualified strength for us. It sounds like you're trying to white cleanse our population and saying somebody else's babies. I think that means me, Congressman. I'm only second generation in this country. Who is somebody else's babies?
KING: Chris, we're a country here, that if you take a picture of what America looks like, you can do It in a football stadium or a basketball court and you see all different kinds of Americans There. We're pretty proud of that, the different looking Americans that are still Americans.
There's an American culture, American civilization. It's raised within these children in these American homes. That's one of the reasons why we require that the president of the United States be raised with an American experience. We've also aborted nearly 60 million babies in this country since 1973.
There's been this effort we're going to have to replace that void with somebody else's babies. That's the push to bring in much illegal immigration into America, living in enclaves, refusing to assimilate into the American culture and civilization. Some embrace it, yes. Many are two and three generations living in enclaves that are pushing back in resistance against assimilation. It's far worse in Europe than it is today here in the United States, but I want us to be looking at that, promoting the birth rate in America, restoring the rule of law, putting an end to illegal immigration and recognizing we need to be a country that's pulled together on similar values. That makes us stronger.
CUOMO: That's the exact point. It seemed like you were doing the opposite, like you were trying to say someone else's babies means you're either white or you're not right. As you know, that is anathema to what America is all about. Can we get agreement on that?
KING: Well, actually, if you go down the road a few generations or maybe centuries with the intermarriage, I'd like to see an America that so homogenous that we look a lot the same from that perspective. I think there's far too much focus on race, especially in the last eight years. I want to see that put behind us. And I want to see us bonded together. I gave a speech on this on Saturday and half the liberals got up and left the room when I talked about unity -- they're looking for hatred is the point, Chris.
CUOMO: Hold on a second. Congressman, if you suggest that somebody else's babies shouldn't be welcome in a country, you seem inherently divisive. That's why I keep to seem doubling down on it. You say America has different faces, that's fine. You keep making this point that this country needs to be about white people raising their birth rate and not bringing in other people. That's exactly what America is not.
KING: Chris, I never have made that point. I've never said that. I've been characterized as saying that. I've had the blogs out there say I said that. I tell them go, back, watch the tape, listen to the language. Our language is precise. That's not out there.
I did defend western civilization, it starting this summer at the Republican National Convention. And When I said western civilization, that launched people opposed to western civilization. That's a big problem. If we have an element of Americans here that reject western civilization, and that's a big element, that reject western civilization, then what have we?
This is an effort on the left I think to break down the American civilization and the American culture and turn it into something entirely different. I'm a champion for western civilization and, yes, our English language is a big part of it. It's a carrier of freedom. Wherever the English language has gone globally, freedom went with it. Science technology has always lifted up the standard of living on average of everybody on the planet. I want more of that, not less. There are civilizations that produce very little, if any. This western civilization is a superior civilization, and we want to share it with everybody.
CUOMO: You're entitled to your opinion about all these things obviously. I want to go back at this one more time because it's that Important. A Muslim American, an Italian American, A Christian American, Jewish American, you do realize that they are all equal, all the same thing. We don't need babies from one of those groups more than we need them from another of those groups. Do you agree with me?
KING: Well I would say ...
CUOMO: Why do you pause on a question like that, Congressman? It doesn't depend on any definition.
You're either an American or not. Muslim American, Italian American, Irish, Scotch, German American which is what your roots are. Either those are all equal things or they are not. What is your answer?
KING: They contribute differently to our culture and civilization. There are moderate Muslims that are equal to in all these ...
CUOMO: I said a Muslim American, people who have lived here who are assimilated.
CUOMO: There are a lot of people teaching hatred in their families who are white, Irish, Italian, who are Muslim. A lot of people preach hate. There's hate in a lot of different groups. I get you have Muslim extremism that there's a concern in this country about it. But I asked you something else. These people are either all equal or they are not in your view. A Muslim American, an Italian American, German American like you and your blood, your roots. They are either all equal or they are not in your mind. What is the answer?
KING: I'd say they're all created in the image of God and they're equal in his eyes. If they're citizens of the United States they're equal in the eyes of the law. Individuals will contribute differently, not equally to this civilization and society. Certain groups of people will do more from a productive side than Other groups of people will. That's just a statistical fact.
CUOMO: It's not as a function of Race. It's a function of opportunity and education. You're not more likely as a Muslim American to contribute to American society. It's about your education and your opportunity, not what your blood is.
KING: It's the culture, not the blood. If you can go anywhere in the world and adopt these babies and put them into households that were already assimilated in America, those babies will grow up as American as any other baby with as much patriotism and love of country as any other baby.
It's not about race. It's never been about race. In fact the struggles across this planet, we describe them as race, they're not race. They're culture based. It's a clash of culture, not the race. Sometimes that race is used as an identifier.
CUOMO: Steve King, it's important. I wanted to clarify it. Thank you for coming on the show to do so. America is known for one thing, diversity as strength. Appreciate you being here.