Sen. Tim Scott (L) and Rep. Steve King (R). Photos: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call and Alex Wong via Getty Images
Republican Sen. Tim Scott criticized the GOP's response to racism in a Washington Post op-ed, specifically calling out Republican officials' silence on Rep. Steve King’s comments in a New York Times article that questioned why terms like "white supremacist" are considered offensive.
What he's saying: "Some in our party wonder why Republicans are constantly accused of racism — it is because of our silence when things like this are said. ... When people with opinions similar to King’s open their mouths, they damage not only the Republican Party and the conservative brand but also our nation as a whole."
- "Immigration is the perfect example, in which somehow our affection for the rule of law has become conflated with a perceived racism against brown and black people."
- "King’s comments are not conservative views but separate views that should be ridiculed at every turn possible."
The big picture: Some prominent Republicans have spoken out against King, including GOP conference chair Liz Cheney, who tweeted that the comments were "abhorrent" and "racist." House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer and Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash have denounced King's comments as well.