MASON CITY — U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, charged Thursday that President Obama’s health care plan is “the unconstitutional taking of American liberty.”
Speaking to about 30 North Iowans at Cabin Coffee, King said he will continue to work for the repeal of “Obamacare” and will press Republican presidential candidates to take the same stand.
“The most sovereign thing we have is our soul,” said King. “The second- most sovereign thing we have is our skin.”
King, from Kiron, has represented the 5th District in western Iowa for 10 years. Redistricting, which takes place after the 2012 elections, would place him in the new 4th District, which includes North Iowa.
A possible opponent is Democrat Christie Vilsack, wife of agriculture secretary and former Gov. Tom Vilsack, who has expressed interest in possibly running.
King’s Mason City stop Thursday was to give him a chance to meet North Iowans, to express his views and to hear theirs.
They did not disappoint, peppering him with questions and comments and being overwhelmingly supportive of him.
“We’re glad you’re here,” said retired pastor Glen Bandel.
Retired businessman Ray Randall sipped ice tea and chatted with King for several minutes prior to the congressman addressing his audience.
“The function of government is to preserve and secure your rights,” said King. “We need to elect a full-spectrum conservative for president — and it isn’t President Obama.
“Are you more free today, do you have more liberty today than you had 2 1/2 years ago? I don’t know anyone who can say yes to that,” he said.
Responding to numerous questions from an enthusiastic audience, King said:
• He was against the 99-week extension of unemployment benefits.
• He and his staff will look into possible Army Corps of Engineers neglect in preventing flooding of the Missouri River.
• Congress will investigate the government’s sale of guns to cartels in Mexico.
• Talked about what he considered other abuses of government power including picking “which banks are too big to fail and which ones aren’t.”
He said he supports and will work for a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget.
King said he intends to endorse a GOP candidate prior to the Iowa caucuses but not until after the Aug. 13 Straw Poll in Ames.
As he spoke, a small contingent of protesters held up signs on Highway 122 outside the cafe. Among the signs were ones urging passing motorists to honk if they wanted Medicare to be saved.