A House Democrat, touting a poster portraying well-known Americans of immigrant heritages, ripped into Iowa Republican Steve King on Wednesday over his widely rebuked comment that “we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”
California Rep. Eric Swalwell took to the floor of the House with the poster, which featured photos of prominent public figures as babies, including Barack Obama, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Walt Disney and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. The poster was emblazoned with a “Somebody Else’s Babies” hashtag.
“These are not somebody else’s babies. These are immigrants, the children of immigrants, and they are our babies,” Swalwell said after calling out King by name.
The 67-year-old Iowa congressman became a target of widespread reproach after expressing support for the failed far-right Dutch prime minister candidate Geert Wilders in a tweet over the weekend.
“Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny,” King wrote. “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”
Critics slammed the nationalist overtones in King’s tweet as flirting with white supremacy and racism. But amid backlash, King doubled down on his comments — and prompted even harsher and bipartisan criticism.
“I meant exactly what I said. I’d like to see an America that’s just so homogenous that we look a lot the same,” he told CNN, adding that he considers western civilization to be “superior.”
Swalwell, while on the House floor, blasted those comments as “bigoted, hateful and divisive.”
“There’s nothing to restore, we are the greatest country in the world,” he said. “But worse, by disparaging the value of ‘somebody else’s babies,’ Mr. King argues for an America void of people of color or who worship differently than he does. That’s not who we are.”
Wrapping up his House floor takedown, Swalwell revealed that he was born in the Iowan district that King represents.
“I was born and baptized in Sac City, Iowa,” Swalwell said. “It’s where I learned from Exodus 22:21, ‘you must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way. Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners.’ And from the Iowans I know, they were raised to accept and love the same way.”