Iowa Congressman King Faces Protesters and Calls Ames Ground Zero

Congressman Steve King spoke before about 50 people in Ames Pizza Ranch Thursday.

U.S. Congressman Steve King, R-Kiron, told a small crowd at the Ames Thursday that his race against Christie Vilsack for Iowa's new 4th District will be the most expensive congressional race in the history of Iowa.

“It's not going to be the friendliest and it's not going to be the cleanest,” King said of the race. “You will be learning things about me and I will learn things about me I don't yet know.”

The race should be an interesting one, on both the national and local level. King, an outspoken national voice for conservative stances, has served in Congress since 2002. But, district lines were redrawn when Iowa lost a House seat and now he faces a challenge from an Iowa Democratic party staple in Vilsack, who's husband Tom Vilsack is Iowa's former governor and the current U.S. agriculture secretary.

Christie Vilsack, who calls Ames home, has raised more than $1 million and has said she hoped to raise $3 million. And King said at least three Super PACs have lined up against him.

Members of one of them, CREDO Super PACs, crashed the Ames Conservative Breakfast Club meeting Thursday and held up anti-King signs up at the back of the crowded room.

King said Ames is ground zero in the race to represent 39 counties and he was prepared to face a negative campaign.

“If they run on the issues it would be an advertisment for me,” he said.

He took some questions at the end of his stump, but when saying that his top issues were repealing President Barack Obama's health care plan and a Constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget, he wouldn't take a question from a woman who tried to interupt him. She kept trying to talk over King, drawing ire from people who wanted to hear what he had to say.

One man said, “Somebody Call 911.”

King quieted the room saying, “We don't do this in Iowa.”

Alec Johnson, CREDO Super PAC's district director, said they weren't for Vilsack, they were just against King and the Tea Party.

“We are targeting 10 of the most egregious members,” Johnson said adding that since King was a founding member, “We are determined to give him a pink slip this year.”

He was also upset because he said King voted for the Ryan Budget which he said cuts Medicare and “savages” Medicaid in order to give greater tax cuts to the 1 percent.

A year ago the Ryan budget, which King also voted for, would have killed Social Security, Johnson said.

However King has said that Obama's supported health insurance plan cut Medicare, which it does.

King was one of more than 200 Republicans who voted in favor of the Ryan budget March 29. All Democrats and 10 Republicans voted against.

On the road to Grundy Center, King said, that while he is used to protestors and even jokes about guaranteeing their prescence in college towns, CREDOs conduct was very disrespectful.

The people in the room wanted a conversation and to ask questions, King said by phone.

“They didn't want to be disturbed ... and they were embarassed,” he said.

King has said that entitlement programs need to be fixed before they go bankrupt, but said he didn't want to talk about a plan to fix Social Security because history shows potential solutions, like the one George W. Bush offered in 2005, are often demagoged.

“You should ask the Democrats, 'What will you do?' They don't have a plan,” King said.  

frank gugino sr April 05, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Until the lawyers are stopped from "jackpot law suits" health care will never go down. Obama has refused to address the lawyer proplem ( maybe because they are his biggest contributors)
Jessica Miller April 05, 2012 at 08:47 PM
King said during his talk, "The second most sovereign thing you have is your health. Your health and the management of your health that you need to be able to take care of yourself."
Avon Barksdale April 06, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Although Obamacare is clearly flawed, King and the rest of the GOP's only response is to slash Social Security and Medicare and force the rest of us who don't make millions to fend for ourselves. And when the millions who lose the preventative care they would have under Obama they end up putting a greater burden on the healthcare system because they use the ER as their personal doctor, become more susceptible to preventative illnesses, and without access to contraception - put more kids who need government benefits into the system. Obamacare needs work but the core principals are solid. King's response only costs this country more and serves to hurt this district. How can we call ourselves a great nation if we cannot provide the most basic services to the people who need them and let millions slip through the cracks?
Kathy Schnell April 07, 2012 at 06:41 AM
Oh, what a clever little boy Mr. King is to call our bodies "sovereign" -- what a cute little play on words, but he seems to forget that the management of our sovereign bodies and health is what the right to choose is all about. How do your words taste in your mouth, Mr. King?
Jaylah April 08, 2012 at 04:50 AM
Frank, did you ever stop to think that perhaps "Obamacare" wasn't passed as the be-all/end-all of health care reform? Can you imagine the chaos that would have ensued if everything about our current health care system all changed overnight? Did you forget that a lot of the things Obama wanted in his health care reform package were blocked by the legislature (led mostly by Republicans)? What Obama did was MAKE A START. No, his health care reform package isn't complete and yes, there are still bugs that need to be worked out. But we've known we needed to address our health care system in this country and make some vast changes for many decades. Others have tried and failed. Let's at least give Obama credit for not losing focus and at least making a start on those changes.


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