Rep. King accuses undocumented people of being drug mules - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Rep. King accuses undocumented people of being drug mules

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WAVERLY (KWWL) -

U.S. Rep. Steve King's controversial comments have added fuel to a fire already burning within the Republican party, political analysts said.

Analysts believe in order for the party to remain viable, it needs to reach the growing demographic of Latinos because its current base of middle-class, aging Americans is shrinking.

However, some worry King's recent accusation that many undocumented people are drug mules will only segregate the party from that population.

Professor of political science at Wartburg College Fred Waldstein said King's comments were not surprising.

"I wasn't really surprised by the comments, because Steve King is a pretty controversial figure," said Waldstein. "He's been very outspoken on the whole immigration issue."

Waldstein said King's comments detract from any compromise on immigration reform, however.

"This kind of thing is a huge distraction for the leadership, and it makes things more difficult to get any kind of legislation passed," he said.

King stood by his comments later this week.

Political analysts said while some people agree with King's stance on immigration issues, they might not agree with his approach.

"You can agree with Steve King on the position, and I think many people do," said Waldstein.

"But I think many people will be offended -- and are offended -- by the approach he took that has nothing to do with the substance and simply makes derogatory remarks about a large group of people," he added.

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