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Yesterday in Iowa: Rep. Steve King Debates Christie Vilsack, Manages Not to Call Anyone a Dog

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Earlier this week we wrote about how anti-immigrant extremist Congressman Steve King (R-IA) has suddenly decided to pull back on a plan to sue President Obama over his deferred action policy.  We think it’s because his Congressional race against former Iowa first lady Christie Vilsack has gotten close–much, much closer than he’d like, so close that Republican prognosticators are privately expressing beliefs that Congressman King might not be returning to Washington next year.

That was the backdrop for a debate held in Iowa yesterday between Rep. King and Vilsack, in which King was careful to walk back recent comments comparing immigrants to dogs by reminding the audience that “we are all God’s children made in his image.”

He also introduced the concept of a “$10 immigrant”–an undocumented worker holding a job that could’ve otherwise gone to a “$16” American citizen employee.

Christie Vilsack hit back at King for his anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric.  As she said in response to an immigration question:

First of all, we need to make sure that we secure our borders, to make sure that we don’t have people or guns coming across illegally, and we need to make sure that lawful citizens have the first chance at jobs.

We also need to make sure that people have a pathway to citizenship.  It’s very important that if someone is willing to die for this country, if someone is willing to work hard in school, that they have an opportunity to become a citizen of this country.  We are taught to love our neighbors as ourselves…

People in this county have told me how the important immigrants are to them and they’ve told me that they’ve talked to Congressman King to ask him to tone down his rhetoric.

When he speaks on national television, he often embarrasses us in Iowa when he talks about immigrants as if they are stray cats or as if they’re dogs.

I think we need to do everything we can to welcome people here because they’re a very important part of our economy.

You can watch a video of yesterday’s debate here.

And below, a video of a pro-immigrant rally outside of the King/Vilsack debate reminding us that everyone should love our immigrant neighbors: