DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa Congressman Steve King is standing by some controversial comments he made over the weekend, despite criticism from many in his own party.
In a tweet about Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who wants to close mosques in the Netherlands and ban Muslim immigrants, King said, “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies."
King defended his remarks but denied they're racist.
“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 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. And in doing so then you can grow your population, you can strengthen your culture, you can strengthen your way of life. 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,” King said on CNN Monday.
King's office didn't respond to a request from Channel 13 to talk with the Congressman.
King's initial tweet Sunday drew praise from David Duke, a former leader with the white supremacist group, the Ku Klux Klan.
Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa Jeff Kaufmann condemned Congressman King's comments Monday. He issued a statement:
"First of all, I do not agree with Congressman King's statement. We are a nation of immigrants, and diversity is the strength of any nation and any community," Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said. "Regarding David Duke, his words and sentiments are absolute garbage. He is not welcome in our wonderful state."
Channel 13 reached out to other Republican leaders to see if anyone stood by King's words. None did.
Third District Republican Congressman David Young said in a statement:
“I disagree with Congressman Steve King’s comments, America is not about any one color, or one ethnicity, or one faith. It is about self-government, the rule of law, freedom, and the liberties and rights given in our Constitution.”
U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley:
"I have a Korean daughter-in-law and an Ethiopian granddaughter-in-law who enrich our family and America."
U.S. Senator Joni Ernst:
“I don’t agree with or condone Congressman King’s comments. As I have stated many times before, we are a welcoming nation, of all religions and from all parts of the world.”