Newly-elected Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Monday called for conservative Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) to resign from the House because of his remarks questioning whether white supremacy is “offensive.”
“I think he ought to step aside and I think Congress ought to make it very clear he has no place there,” Romney told CNN’s Manu Raju on Monday.
A spokeswoman for Romney confirmed the statement.
Romney later told a group of reporters that “Steve King’s comments are reprehensible.”
He said King “ought to resign and move on and let someone else who represents American values take his seat,” adding “he should find a different line of work.”
Romney is the latest high-profile Republican voice to condemn King’s comments made in an interview with The New York Times in which he said, “white nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”
“Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and civilization?” he said.
King later issued a statement saying that while he is a “nationalist” who supports “western civilization’s values” and he does not endorse “white nationalism and white supremacy.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in a statement Monday said he has “no tolerance for such positions and those who espouse these views are not supporters of American ideals and freedoms.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) says he may punish King by revoking his committee assignments.