MASON CITY — Republican U.S. Rep. Steve King wasted no time Tuesday in separating his views from those of Christie Vilsack, his Democratic opponent in the November election.
King, of Kiron, speaking to about 30 supporters at the Historic Park Inn Hotel, said he has a four-point platform.
• Repeal Obamacare.
• Balance the federal budget.
• Promote Iowa’s renewable energy resources and American-made energy.
• Create jobs by cutting taxes and government regulations.
“I think Christie Vilsack disagrees with me on every one of these points,” he said.
“Full, 100-percent repeal of Obamacare is my number one plank and the number one plank of Mitt Romney,” he said.
During a question-answer session at the end of his talk, a man in the front row of the audience challenged him on remarks the man said King had previously made about Medicare.
King told the man he was mistaken, to which the questioner, who identified himself as “Chris,” said, “You are a liar. You are a professional liar and a homophobic.”
The crowd booed, King told the man, “We’re done, I don’t have to put up with this,” and a plain-clothes police officer came over, took the man by the arm, and led him out of the room.
Regarding the economy, King said, “The will to balance the federal budget does not exist in the Congress today. The Ryan budget still doesn’t balance the budget for 26 years. That’s not fast enough.”
He said he’d like to see a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget and for Iowa to be the first state to approve it.
King said he believes in an “all of the above” energy strategy that includes everything, including approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
“In opposing the Keystone Pipeline, President Obama has rejected tens of thousands of American jobs and countless barrels of new American energy,” he said.
“We need to do with renewable energy what Texas did with oil. We need to sell it to the rest of the world.”
King’s final point was how Americans are losing their freedom because of all the government regulations, and how the situation has worsened during the Obama administration.
“Younger people don’t generate as many ideas as previous generations did,” said King.
He said in his generation, if someone had an idea, they’d say “there’s no law against it” so they’d try it.
Today, King said, people have to check to see if they have government permission to try something.
King is a five-term congressman from northwestern Iowa. Redistricting has placed him in the new 4th District which reaches into north central Iowa.
Vilsack, wife of U.S. agriculture secretary and former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack, has a residence in Ames and is seeking public office for the first time.