Steve King Defends Comparing Immigrants to “a good bird dog”

Congressman Steve King (R-IA) went on Univision on Friday and refused to apologize for comparing immigrants to “a good bird dog.” Because according to King, comparing immigrants to “a good bird dog” was actually a compliment. Or something.

Transcript via ABC

JR: You recently compared immigrants to dogs.

SK: No I didn’t, that’s a mischaracterization.

JR: Actually you, in a town hall meeting…

SK: Look at the original source. That didn’t happen.

JR: I read it. And many people found it offensive.

SK: Did you watch the video? People write things on the internet all the time. But did you watch the video, the full video? That speech was about celebrating legal immigration…

JR: It was not a celebration.

SK: … And anyone that understands the language and the culture knows that if they saw the video.

JR: In a town hall meeting in Iowa, you actually compared immigrants to dogs. And many people would find that offensive and racist.

SK: I thought you would probably repeat yourself on that. I told you if you watch that video you would know that was a speech celebrating legal immigrants. Legal, not illegal immigrants. Legal immigrants. And I said they are the cream of the crop. It’s the vigor of America that comes because people of all donor civilizations on the planet want to come here. They dream. We get the best ….

JR: So you don’t want to apologize because of that comment?

SK: … that every country has to offer because of that. That was the speech. And it has been mischaracterized by people on the left. It’s been intentionally and dishonestly done so to drive wedges between people on the basis of race …

JR: So you actually…

SK: … I think it’s a sin to do that, Jorge.

JR: So from your point of view, you actually did not compare immigrants to dogs?

SK: I said that speech was about the vigor of legal immigration. It was a very complimentary speech and no I did not do that.

JR: I don’t think many people found that complementary.

SK: I did not do that. And you should go back and look at the video. In fact, show the whole video on Univision and you’ll know that.

JR: You know it is not complimentary to compare a group of immigrants to animals.

SK: You know I didn’t do that if you watch the whole video. And I would challenge you to run the whole video on Univision. Run the whole video. Listen to the whole speech. Get a sense of what I was talking about rather than what the left-wing blogs are doing. They are trying to divide us instead of let us be unified as one people in this country.

Steve King is sorry that some people chose to be offended and if they’re offended it’s only because they don’t understand “the language and the culture” and because Jorge Ramos is “intentionally and dishonestly” trying to mislead them.

Why not just hold up a big sign or write it on your forehead?

On one hand King’s past and recent comments are unbecoming of a congressman, but on the other hand is he performing the service of telling the Univision audience that they should vote for the other guys. For that we can be thankful.

“You want a good bird dog? You want one that’s going to be aggressive? Pick the one that’s the friskiest…not the one that’s over there sleeping in the corner…You get the pick of the litter and you got yourself a pretty good bird dog. Well, we’ve got the pick of every donor civilization on the planet.” -Steve King

  • Pat Nash

    He ain’t no Congressman anymore. So can a fellow speak his piece? Without others putting words in his mouth.

  • centerfielddj

    “…donor civilization…?”

    King should author a Bill which changes the inscription on the State of Liberty:
    “Give me your frisky, your well-bred,
    The cream of your crops yearning to make money,
    The wretched refuse can stay the fuck home,
    Send these, the exploitable, work-visa’d to me,
    I lift my leg and loose the golden shower!”

    • mrbrink

      Hahaha. Love it!

      Why stop at the SOL?

      This has got the makings for a new national anthem, hey!

  • Victor_the_Crab

    Standard Republican party tactic. Say something arrogantly stupid and mean spirited, then when you get confronted by it, go completely apeshit and accuse the confronter of making shit up and of attempting to tear the country apart until they back down. Karl Rove would be pleased with Steve King’s work, no doubt.

  • muselet

    Shorter Steve King: I complimented some of you wetbacks and this is the thanks I get?

    Jumping Judas on a unicycle, what a dolt.


  • Mike_Norris

    Seriously…I don’t know how much more I can take…

  • Christopher Foxx

    OK, poor choice of metaphor. But I don’t see that this time King was “offensive and racist”. The objection strikes me as being in the “He’s got a great memory, like an elephant” “So, you’re saying he’s fat.” vein of looking to take offense.

    • IrishGrrrl

      If it was the first time he’d ever said something like that, I would give him the benefit of the doubt. But he has a looooooong and racist history so he doesn’t get a pass. It’s not okay to refer to any immigrants as any kind of animal.

      • Christopher Foxx

        I’m happy to stipulate that King is a terrible and racist person. And that I didn’t read any more of the transcript than is presented here so don’t know if King went on and was more clear in expressing immigrants = dogs and dogs = an insult equivalences.

        But, as presented here I don’t see that King was making an insult as claimed by the interviewer et al. No more than saying “He’s the top dog at his firm,” or “I worked like a dog today” should be taken as racist insults.

        King and his ilk certainly say enough things that are blatantly and dumb and/or racist. I’m always wary when folks start seeing “grab the fainting couch” insults in everything they say because it suggests the criticism is coming purely from bias and not a legitimate complaint.

        Case in point:
        Bob complains that Cohen said something which he clearly didn’t say, and then complains when Cohen refers to Obama as Obama did.

        Cohen and King provide plenty of legitimate fodder to point to and object to. Trying to grab anything the objectionable person says and claim it’s objectionable because of who said it makes us look like the wingnuts who oppose Obama for no other reason than because he’s Obama.

        • mrbrink

          Maybe you’re right, “we only want the good ones” sounds more like eugenics.

          You were wrong about the way you interpreted the Cohen column, which was written by Ashby, by the way, and you’re wrong now.

          In what context is it ever okay for public officials to openly talk about human beings like dog breeders, or slave traders? Are you out of your fucking mind?

          No, no. You never want the lazy ones in the corner, you want the real strong ones for the fields and the frisky ones for the house.

          • Christopher Foxx

            You’re right about my Bob/JM Ashby mixup. I edited my previous comment to correct that.

          • Christopher Foxx

            It’s the vigor of America that comes because people of all donor civilizations on the planet want to come here. They dream. We get the best ….

            I read that as saying the best people (vigorous, driven) come to America. A self-selection and recognition of the traits displayed by those who choose to come to America. Not as King saying he gets to pick and choose who comes.

            Like someone on a leading sports team recognizing “Because we’re a great team all the best players want to join us.” or a leading law firm noting that the top graduates from Harvard always apply to them.

          • mrbrink

            Yeah, no.

          • Christopher Foxx

            Uh, OK. Huh? (Sorry, confused by your seeming to disagree with me (which is fine, of course) and upvoting my comment (which is appreciated).)

          • mrbrink

            I liked your tone.

          • Christopher Foxx

            Thanks. Trying to keep it more that way.

    • mrbrink

      The fact that he doesn’t understand how his ‘pick of the litter’ analogy is offensive is offensive.

      Racists dehumanize other races. It’s what they do.

  • Claude Weaver

    Yeah, that….that is just insane.

    So not only does he insult legal immigrants by saying they are good dogs that are eager to do what they are told, but who exactly are the bad dogs in this little analogy? Illegals? Lazy Americans? Who? Because whoever it is, they probably don’t like that comparison either.

    This is just….damn.

  • Treading_Water

    You see, Steve King was just saying that good Messkins are like those good frisky puppies, and should be allowed to breed, unlike bad Messkins. And if anyone understands dog breeding, it’s Steve King, the forefather of an entire race of monstrous glassy eyed man-puppies.

    • blackdaug

      Oh god…I had forgotten about that. Spewed tea out of my nose again.
      “What’s that? Oh I am being told that is all illegal. Fast work Mr.King.”

      • Treading_Water

        It is my intention to post a picture of these cute but glassy eyed puppies on every Steve King post I come across, until the two are inseparable in everyone’s mind.

        • Sabyen91

          You are forever cast into uncanny valley for that.