Iowa Rep. Steve King on Monday defended his contention that U.S. culture cannot be restored "with somebody else's babies" and advocated for "an America that's just so homogeneous that we look a lot the same."
The firebrand Republican, who has made a number of eyebrow raising remarks about immigration and culture, retweeted praise for a far-right European politician on Sunday, lauding him for understanding "that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies."
In an interview on CNN on Monday, King said he "meant exactly what I said."
"You cannot rebuild your civilization with somebody else's babies. You've got to keep your birth rate up and that you need to teach your children your values and in doing so, then you can grow your population and you can strengthen your culture, you can strengthen your way of life," King said.
King called Western Civilization a "superior culture" and said some cultures contribute more to American society than others.
"If you go down the road a few generations or maybe centuries with the intermarriage, I'd like to see an America that's just so homogenous that we look a lot the same," King added.
King has served in Congress since 2003 and has become an influential voice among the conservative House members. He has a history of making controversial statements when it comes to immigration and race. At an appearance on MSNBC during the Republican National Convention last summer, King questioned the contributions non-whites have made to society.
In 2013 he said for each undocumented immigrant who becomes a valedictorian, there are 100 that have "calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert."
The Iowa Republican's latest tweet and subsequent defense were condemned by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the House, called on House Speaker Paul Ryan to condemn King's comments. "Once again, disgusting hatred has been met with deafening silence from Speaker Ryan," she said in a statement.
A spokesperson for Ryan said, "The speaker clearly disagrees and believes America's long history of inclusiveness is one of its great strengths."