Representative Steve King was in his element at the South Carolina Freedom Summit on Saturday, saying after a speech to raucous conservatives that the fault for riots in Baltimore lies with President Barack Obama.
“President Obama has consistently driven wedges between people. And he perceives a difference on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation—wedge after wedge after wedge. I didn't really imagine they were going to drive a wedge between the law and law-breakers,” King, a Tea Party favorite from Iowa, told reporters in Greenville. “It is instinctive on the part of the president. That's a level that I have not seen before.”
Riots erupted in Baltimore last month after the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, an African American man who suffered spinal-cord injuries while in police custody.
Asked point-blank if he blames Obama for the violent demonstrations, King hesitated for a few seconds before responding clearly in the affirmative. “I'll say yes,” he said. “The culture has created that because they drove that culture in Ferguson and it multiplied itself in Baltimore and across the country.”
He claimed that a “different president" could “heal us together” by going on television and saying, “Listen, God created all of us, and we cannot discriminate against people based upon the distinction that he's given each of us.”
King also addressed his signature issue, immigration, in his speech, offering the approving crowd a tongue-in-cheek proposition: “Every time we let an immigrant in, we'll deport a leftist.”