U.S. Congressman Steve King was slated to visit Colorado Saturday to raise money for Cory Gardner, a Republican vying to replace Democratic Representative Betsy Markey in the state’s 4th Congressional District.
But after King suggested President Barack Obama favors blacks over whites on G. Gordon Liddy’s nationally syndicated radio talk show, the $100-per-plate fundraiser has been canceled.
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Neither King, an Iowa Republican, nor Gardner has returned calls to The Associated Press to answer questions about whether King’s remarks on Liddy’s show had anything to do with the cancellation.
“It looks like [Attorney General] Eric Holder said that white people in America are cowards when it comes to race,” King said, referencing a speech from February in which Holder said, “In things racial, we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards.”
King added: “And I don’t know what the basis of that is, but I’m not a coward when it comes to that, and I’m happy to talk about these things, and I think we should. But the president has demonstrated that he has a default mechanism in him that breaks down the side of race—on the side that favors the black person.”
The Fort Collins Coloradoan, which first reported the story, quotes Gardner campaign manager Chris Hansen as refusing to elaborate on the reasons for calling off the event, but the paper points out that he informed them of the cancellation after they inquired about King’s remarks.
The Iowa congressman was also expected to speak Saturday in Loveland at a Northern Colorado Tea Party rally, along with Gardner and Ken Buck, the frontrunner Republican in the race for U.S. Senate. A Tea Party spokeswoman has not been reached for comment on whether King is still scheduled speak at 6 p.m. in the Hammond Amphitheater at North Lake Park.