Rep. King praises Trump, says he can work with Clinton
'On (Trump's) agenda, almost everything there I agree with'
Gazette-Lee Des Moines Bureau
DES MOINES — Steve King, Iowa’s conservative congressman from northwest Iowa, had kind words Thursday for both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Trump fared far better, to be sure, during King’s remarks at the Des Moines Register’s Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair.
But the Republican King, when talking about the presidential race, also said Clinton — the Democratic candidate and former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state — is someone with whom he has been able to work in the past.
King said if he is re-elected to Congress and Clinton is elected president, he plans to do his best to oppose an agenda with which he presumes he will disagree.
“But I also know that I sat across the table from Hillary Clinton, eye-to-eye, and when you’re working outside of staff and outside the press, she is somebody I can work with,” King said.
After his public remarks, King reaffirmed to reporters that he has in the past been able to work with Clinton when not under the eyes of media or staff.
“I can reason with Hillary Clinton under those circumstances,” King said.
That is as far as King was willing to go on Clinton; he was far more supportive of Trump, the New York businessman and Republican candidate for president.
King told reporters he plans to vote for Trump in November, plans to encourage others to do the same and supports many of the plans Trump laid out in his acceptance speech at last month’s national convention. King supported Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, during the Iowa caucuses.
King fell short of officially endorsing Trump, but he gave reporters the impression he may do so at some point before the election.
“The Irish in me lends to the utilization of hyperbole and superlatives. So I have more of them that I haven’t unleashed yet,” King said. “I’ve just got more good things that I can say.”
King said he supports Trump’s proposals on border security, a three-tiered tax plan and placing a moratorium on new federal regulations.
King also said he disagrees with Trump on some issues but those are “things that I can live with that may or may not be high priorities.”
“On (Trump’s) agenda, almost everything there I agree with, and I think we should commit to working on that agenda,” King said.
King effusively praised Mike Pence, the Indiana governor chosen to be Trump’s running mate.
“This is a terrific choice. Mike Pence fills in whatever you might see as gaps in a Trump candidacy,” King said. “And he adds an element of stability. He’s got a deep understanding of foreign policy, having sat on the Foreign Affairs Committee for years (as a former congressman), along with the judiciary committee. I know where his head and his heart is.”