Meet the Press   |  August 11, 2013

Rep. King faces off with Ana Navarro

Pundit Ana Navarro and Rep. Steve King debate the congressman's record and the potential effect of the immigration overhaul.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> congressman king, thank you very much. joining us from iowa this morning. back to the roundtable and the immigration debate . ana, what does this say to you about the prospects of real reform coming out of the house?

>> first of all, i think congressman king should get some therapy for his melon fixation. i think there might be medication for that. i think he's a mediocre congressman with no legislative record and the only time he makes national press is when he comes out and says something offensive about the undocumented or hispanics. frankly, i think he's being helpful to the immigration debate , because because it is emboldening other republicans to speak out strongly against him, people like john boehner , like eric cantor , like paul ryan . we're not going to stand anymore for the republican party being defined by somebody like steve king . there are other voices who are the adults in the room and who are working hard towards a reform. and i think it's going to happen. i'm more optimistic than most.

>> before i let him go, he just heard that. congressman king, do you want to respond to that in terms of what actually is going to get accomplished?

>> well, i would say this. first of all, i spoke only of drug smugglers . if ana understands the language, she should know that. i didn't insult her or other republicans and i didn't --

>> i vote, congressman.

>> so we should look at this from the big picture . there are people in america who are dying today because of our immigration policy and our open border . they're part of this debate, too. where's your compassion for the families who have lost their children and family members that are buried today because we didn't enforce immigration law ? you understand that 80% to 90% of the illegal drugs consumed in america come from or through mexico. terrorists infiltrate through that border. we need to secure the border first, restore the rule of law. then we can have this discussion you want to get to without insulting people in the process.

>> you're going to talk to me about insulting people, congressman?

>> governor richardson , let me get your comment.

>> i think what the congressman is advocating is basically shameful, but at the same time, there is a problem in the house of representatives . and the problem is that the house will not take up the senate bill the way it is. what needs to happen is a procedural fix followed by -- right now in the august recess, evangelical groups, law enforcement groups, business groups are focusing on republicans that are the key. what i would do if i were the president is i'd ask vice president biden to lead an effort to make some procedural deals. have part of the house bill not just border security but some kind of -- some kind of naturalization be part of a package that goes to the senate. make the deal in conference. that's the way to go.

>> david, the larger point here, if immigration doesn't get past th passed this fall, if it is put off, you're talking about a first year for the president devoid of this major legacy item he campaigned on. both times --

>> and you're talking about the breakdown of our political institutions. this is the problem that the country wants to see addressed, to see our institutions fail is just would be tragic. i must say, to speak frankly, watching congressman king, you understand why the republicans have a problem. that rhetoric may speak well to parts of the republican party base, but it doesn't speak to the country, especially not to a country that's changing the way ours is. and --

>> but, david, it's really unfair to paint the republican party broadly with what steve king says. he's not --

>> you spoke eloquently in criticizing him, and i'm really endorsing what you said.

>> this is a man who couldn't even get elected senator in iowa. that's why he's not running there. this is a man whose district has been pulled and supports imanymore the majority. so, you know, he is -- this is his call to fame.