You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser
and improve your visit to our site.
Skip Navigation

Steve King loves fruit, not immigrants.

Scott Olson / Getty

The conservative congressman from Iowa has a proclivity for fruit metaphors. Grapes? Cantaloupes? King has used both to describe immigrants.

He likened Syrian immigrants to “fatally poisonous grapes” on Friday. “If you had 100 grapes and you knew that two of them were fatally poisonous, would you sit there and eat the grapes until one of them killed you? Or would you decide, I’m not going to take that bunch of grapes at all?” King asked. “That’s what we’re dealing with here with the Syrian refugees.”

In 2013, King got in trouble for invoking yet another succulent fruit—this time, the cantaloupe. For every immigrant who was a high school valedictorian, there are “another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds,” he said during an interview with Newsmax. “They’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

You may be surprised to learn that King has run into trouble talking about immigrants before. In 2012, he likened immigrants to dogs, while trying to demonstrate exactly how to winnow out good immigrants from bad ones.

Perhaps, in comparison, King thinks that fruit is neutral territory. But he has a knack for making anything sound incredibly racist, even a nice, juicy cantaloupe. What’s next? A pumpkin? A papaya? King needs to get some new material.