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.