IA-04: Randy Feenstra hits Steve King over impeachment

U.S. Representative Steve King has been a loyal defender of President Donald Trump this fall, repeatedly attacking Democrats for pursuing impeachment and even disrupting a House Intelligence Committee hearing in a secure facility.

But he wasn’t able to participate in the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment hearings, having lost his committee assignments in January.

State Senator Randy Feenstra, the Republican establishment’s favorite among four GOP challengers in Iowa’s fourth Congressional district, seized on the impeachment saga as proof that King can’t do his job well.

Feenstra has tactfully avoided criticizing the substance of King’s views or offensive remarks, probably because he knows the Republican base largely agrees with the incumbent. Instead, he has spoken vaguely about King’s “bizarre” behavior, in contrast to his own work as “an effective conservative” in the Iowa legislature. His campaign’s December 5 news release was typical:

“When President Trump needs him most, Congressman King is unable to help due to his bizarre behavior and his removal from key committees. As the Judiciary Committee continues the sham impeachment process, Iowans are once again left without a seat at the table,” Randy Feenstra said. “Whether on President Trump’s trade deals to help Iowa farmers or this week’s impeachment hearing, King’s behavior has been devastating to our President and our state as Democrats continue to investigate and obstruct, rather than pass his agenda to keep America great.”

Feenstra reprised the talking point in a December 10 statement.

“When President Trump needs him most, Congressman King is unable to help due to his bizarre behavior and his removal from key committees. Iowa conservatives had no voice during the Schiff, Pelosi, Nadler sham hearings, said Feenstra.”

“King’s behavior has been devastating to our President and our state as Democrats continue to investigate and obstruct, rather than pass his agenda to keep America great.   Congress needs to get back to doing the work of the people and stop this end-run on our electoral system.”

I’m skeptical that this line of attack will resonate with rank and file Republicans in IA-04. Surely it must have bothered King that he wasn’t able to vent in front of the television cameras like Representatives Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes, and other Trump apologists. But how many of King’s constituents were closely following the hearings?

A member of Congress has other ways to get his message out. On the day Democrats unveiled the two impeachment articles, King recorded a video bashing the development.

I’ve enclosed the full transcript at the end of this post. Here’s the heart of it:

The ‘Obstruction of Congress’ charge is this: that Donald Trump didn’t make it easy enough for Democrats to come up with a reason to impeach him. They’ve been determined to do that for three years and a month. Then they’ll define what that ‘obstruction’ actually is.

The second thing is ‘Abuse of Power.’ If this charge of ‘Abuse of Power’ is impeachable, that means that you can impeach any President at any time as soon as you disagree with what he’s done with his foreign policy.

King will echo those lines every time he’s invited to appear on television or talk radio in the coming months. He’ll also vote against the articles of impeachment on the House floor. Why would GOP voters hold a grudge because he wasn’t able to pontificate during the Judiciary Committee hearings? That’s inside baseball.

Any comments about the IA-04 campaign are welcome in this thread. Bleeding Heartland’s previous coverage of this race can be found here.


Feenstra campaign news release, December 5:
King’s Behavior Cost President Trump, Iowans a Voice in Impeachment

HULL, IA — Republican Randy Feenstra, an effective conservative member of the Iowa Senate and candidate for Congress, today highlighted the cost of Congressman Steve King’s bizarre behavior to President Trump and Iowans, particularly during the important debates on trade and impeachment.

Congressman Steve King was removed by his Republican colleagues from the House Judiciary Committee, the committee that, this week, has begun the impeachment proceedings, and the House Agriculture Committee that has debated Trump’s USMCA trade deal.

“When President Trump needs him most, Congressman King is unable to help due to his bizarre behavior and his removal from key committees. As the Judiciary Committee continues the sham impeachment process, Iowans are once again left without a seat at the table,” Randy Feenstra said. “Whether on President Trump’s trade deals to help Iowa farmers or this week’s impeachment hearing, King’s behavior has been devastating to our President and our state as Democrats continue to investigate and obstruct, rather than pass his agenda to keep America great.”

Feenstra campaign news release, December 10 (punctuation errors in original):

HULL, IA — Republican Randy Feenstra, an effective conservative member of the Iowa Senate and candidate for Congress, emphasized the cost of Congressman Steve King’s bizarre behavior to President Trump.

Sadly because of Congressman Steve King’s actions he is not able to defend President Trump as House Democrats moved forward with two articles of impeachment

“When President Trump needs him most, Congressman King is unable to help due to his bizarre behavior and his removal from key committees. Iowa conservatives had no voice during the Schiff, Pelosi, Nadler sham hearings, said Feenstra.”

“King’s behavior has been devastating to our President and our state as Democrats continue to investigate and obstruct, rather than pass his agenda to keep America great.   Congress needs to get back to doing the work of the people and stop this end-run on our electoral system.”

Transcript of Representative Steve King’s December 10 video, from an official news release:

On the Democrats’ “Long Saga of Three Years and One Month” Looking for an Excuse to Impeach:

“Wow, what a stunning hour or a little bit better took place here in the United States Congress today, just a little bit earlier, this morning.

The long saga of three years and one month of trying to come up with an excuse to impeach Donald Trump has finally come to pass. The excuses are this: ‘Abuse of Power’ and ‘Obstruction of Congress.’

The ‘Obstruction of Congress’ charge is this: that Donald Trump didn’t make it easy enough for Democrats to come up with a reason to impeach him. They’ve been determined to do that for three years and a month. Then they’ll define what that ‘obstruction’ actually is.

The second thing is ‘Abuse of Power.’ If this charge of ‘Abuse of Power’ is impeachable, that means that you can impeach any President at any time as soon as you disagree with what he’s done with his foreign policy.

That’s the scenario that is here. There are 4 reasons to impeach a President: Treason- they fell flat there, no treason on Donald Trump’s part; Bribery- they talked about it. They can’t make that stick either, so that fell in a flop; High Crimes- no High Crimes either. This is down to misdemeanor, and their minutiae definitions of misdemeanor because they have politically decided to impeach this President. And if they do so, they will set a standard, a low standard for impeachment, that will cause it to happen over and over again going forward.”

On the News of a Deal to Move Forward with the USMCA:

“The second thing is, they didn’t want to face the criticism of the American people. And, so, they decided that after this long saga from July 9th, when the President offered the USMCA treaty, all this way up until this date in December, they’ve been sitting there as a ‘Do Nothing Congress’ except for co-opting Congress to impeach the President. That’s an Abuse of Power!

They decided ‘O.K., we’re gonna put impeachment and USMCA in the same hour’ because they can’t face the criticism of the American people on what they [House Democrats] have done and what they [House Democrats] are about to do.

I’m glad we’ve got USMCA moving. The President’s doing his job. His economic numbers are great. Our national security is strong.

But what they’ve [House Democrats] done to this Constitution, and then to try to cover it over with the frosting of USMCA on top of it, it is appalling. It’s an insult, at least to the people of the Heart of the Heartland who always know better.”

Top image: Official photos of Steve King (left) and Randy Feenstra.

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