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Ted Cruz Refuses to Rule Out Future Support for Steve King After Racist Comments

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) went too far for many Republicans when he wondered how “white supremacy” became “offensive,” and while Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was willing to call the comments “stupid,” he wouldn’t rule out supporting King in the future.

King was quoted in a New York Times profile as saying “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”

The comments have drawn widespread condemnation from elected Republicans, but little in the way of consequences for King.

On Sunday morning’s edition of Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd asked Cruz about one such condemnation, from Senator Tim Scott (R-SC).

“I want to get you to comment on your colleague Tim Scott’s op-ed in The Washington Post about Steve King, Iowa congressman, who was your national co-chair for president,” Todd said, and read some of Scott’s comments.

“He questioned why we find phrases like white nationalism to be offensive. Where are you on this, sir?” Todd asked.

Cruz told Todd that “What Steve King said was stupid. It was stupid, it was hurtful, it was wrong, and he needs to stop it,” and added that he would “urge everyone” to provide “clarity” that white supremacy “is bigotry.”

“Are you going to support him in the future?” Todd asked. As Todd noted, King was a national co-chair for Cruz’s presidential campaign. Cruz refused to withdraw his future support for King.

“You know, what I’m going to do is urge everyone to stand for principles that matter,” Cruz said, then went into a digression about Texas Republicans who tried to expel a local official for being a Muslim.

“When it comes to speaking out against bigotry, whether it is the Klan or Nazis or anything else, I have a lifetime of standing up to that bigotry and I’ll continue it,” Cruz insisted.

What Cruz won’t do, according to this interview, is pledge not to support Steve King in the future.

Watch the clip above, via NBC News.

[Featured image via screengrab]

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