Will Trump speak out on Rep. King's controversial comments?

Here are the stories our panel of top political reporters will be watching for in the year ahead, in this we...

Posted: Jan 14, 2019 6:28 AM
Updated: Jan 14, 2019 6:28 AM

Here are the stories our panel of top political reporters will be watching for in the year ahead, in this week's "Inside Politics" forecast.

1. Steve King's future

2020 Presidential election

Society

Civil rights

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

US federal government

White House

Public finance

Government budgets

US federal government shutdowns

Political Figures - US

Steve King (Politician)

Donald Trump

Joe Biden

Mike Pence

Political organizations

Political advocacy groups

Congress Watch

Discrimination

Elections (by type)

Elections and campaigns

Federal budget

Government organizations - US

John King

Misc people

Political candidates

Politics

Racism and racial discrimination

Societal issues

US Congress

US Federal elections

US House of Representatives

US political parties

US Presidential elections

US Republican Party

Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa has a history of making racially inflammatory remarks. But his fellow Republicans may finally have had enough.

In an interview last week with The New York Times, King said, "white nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization -- how did that language become offensive?"

"Steve King has been in Congress for 15 years. He's been making comments like this for quite some time," New York Times congressional correspondent Julie Hirschfeld Davis said. "But Republicans now are coming forward and saying this is unacceptable. You have Kevin McCarthy, the minority leader. Steve Scalise, the Republican whip, saying he has to apologize for this."

Several other GOP lawmakers have spoken out as well. But King's future in Congress could rest in President Donald Trump's hands.

"President Trump was very close with Steve King from the very beginning, before he declared his candidacy," Davis said. "Steve King was talking about a border wall long before Donald Trump was talking about a border wall. And obviously President Trump has faced some of the same questions about his rhetoric. So it will be very interesting to see how the President deals with this. There's going to be mounting pressure for the president to say something."

2. The Party of Trump

Will Trump face a 2020 primary challenge?

Before we know the answer, the Republican National Committee may officially endorse his re-nomination.

"The fact that the RNC could be considering this really shows that there's real nervousness among Republicans about the prospect of a primary challenge," said Associated Press Washington Bureau Chief Julie Pace. "If the RNC does come out and formally endorse him, it would make it all the more difficult for a Republican challenger to use any kind of party apparatus, to get on the stage with Trump in a debate in the primary."

The last president to face a serious primary challenge: George H.W. Bush in 1992. Many say it contributed to his re-election loss to Bill Clinton.

"It would be almost impossible for a Republican primary challenger to defeat Trump in 2020," Pace said. "But there is real worry that they could at least beat him up, damage him and weaken him going into the general election."

3. Joe Biden & the black vote

Meanwhile on the Democratic side, former Vice President Joe Biden is still weighing whether to run. And his indecision may cost him in a key early primary state.

"Joe Biden is beloved in South Carolina, particularly by African-American Democrats, but they had some pretty harsh words to say about him," CNN senior political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson said.

"He isn't showing any sense of urgency. He hasn't really reached out to many folks in South Carolina. They have no idea what he's going to do," Henderson said.

Other candidates are taking advantage of Biden's absence.

"They've heard from Elizabeth Warren, they've heard from Cory Booker. They've even heard from (Democratic Oregon Sen.) Jeff Merkley," Henderson said. "So there is a lot of frustration on the ground in a state like South Carolina, where black Democrats are going to be so important. Many say if you are Joe Biden, that might be the first state you actually want to compete in and could actually win. But so far they feel like he's letting a little grass grow under his feet as others really work hard and show a sense of urgency."

4. Trump's "acting" Cabinet

Back in Washington, Trump is slowly shaking up his Cabinet. But while many top officials have left, few have actually been replaced.

"At the only Cabinet meeting so far of 2019, President Trump was seated next to an acting secretary of defense and an acting secretary of interior," Wall Street Journal White House reporter Michael Bender said. "Across from him is the acting attorney general. To the right is the acting head of the White House Budget Office. And he's acting because the former White House budget chief is now acting chief of staff."

Bender said Trump is in no rush to name permanent replacements.

"There's a thought in the Oval Office that these acting chiefs are more beholden to the President," Bender said.

5. VP shutdown shade

And from CNN's chief national correspondent John King:

Most of the Republican frustration about a shutdown without a clear exit strategy is directed at Trump.

But among Republicans on Capitol Hill and at GOP-leaning organizations across Washington, there is also a good deal of grumbling about Vice President Mike Pence.

On the Hill, the biggest beef is that Pence was apparently clueless to the fact the President would pull a last-minute about-face and refuse to sign a government spending bill that did not include funding for his border wall. Both House and Senate GOP leaders had made clear they viewed a shutdown as a major political mistake, and the vice president was a constant presence at the Capitol as Congress put together the pre-shutdown spending plan.

The VP and his office are also a frequent point of contact for GOP establishment groups that do not like the President or are viewed suspiciously by him. Many of those groups feel blindsided, too, and see it as proof the vice president has limited influence and isn't afforded much respect by the boss.

"He may be permanently damaged by this two-week period," said one veteran GOP strategist who advises a number of lawmakers and organizations.

Some of this grumbling is without a doubt unfair or exaggerated and comes amid a broader GOP bad mood about the shutdown and the Democrats' rise to power in the House of Representatives. Plus, the VP takes some of the hits for the grumbling over the decision by his former chief of staff, Nick Ayers, to leave the White House instead of stepping in as the President's new chief of staff.

Still, several GOP operatives mentioned Pence unfavorably in exchanges about the shutdown and GOP anxiety with the White House. Their view, at a minimum, is that a vice president very conscious about his standing in the party and his own political future should realize this is a low moment.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 751826

Reported Deaths: 13811
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1033581790
Lake557861011
Allen41721692
St. Joseph37001565
Hamilton36612417
Elkhart29416461
Tippecanoe22926227
Vanderburgh22559400
Porter19364326
Johnson18481389
Hendricks17692317
Clark13231195
Madison13166344
Vigo12629253
LaPorte12425221
Monroe12219176
Delaware10969198
Howard10343225
Kosciusko9636121
Hancock8578147
Bartholomew8172157
Warrick7862156
Floyd7814180
Grant7246179
Wayne7165201
Boone6976103
Morgan6764141
Dubois6222118
Marshall6211116
Cass6023110
Henry5903110
Dearborn589878
Noble581688
Jackson509476
Shelby502296
Lawrence4749122
Gibson445395
Clinton443255
Harrison441775
DeKalb440085
Montgomery438890
Whitley406643
Huntington403181
Steuben400559
Miami395669
Jasper388855
Knox377491
Putnam373461
Wabash362383
Ripley347370
Adams345555
Jefferson336186
White332453
Daviess3033100
Wells295381
Decatur289892
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey273835
LaGrange273172
Scott270156
Clay267148
Washington246236
Randolph245183
Jennings235349
Spencer234631
Starke228058
Fountain221448
Sullivan214643
Owen212258
Fulton203443
Jay201032
Carroll193820
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion175144
Franklin170435
Tipton166646
Parke149616
Pike138334
Blackford136232
Pulaski120748
Newton114436
Brown104443
Benton102514
Crawford102516
Martin91815
Warren84015
Switzerland8158
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0424

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1109374

Reported Deaths: 20213
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1288561469
Cuyahoga1158492216
Hamilton814161251
Montgomery525741049
Summit484431006
Lucas43380824
Butler39066606
Stark33348930
Lorain25690506
Warren24607305
Mahoning22383602
Lake21216389
Clermont20133253
Delaware18873136
Licking16668225
Fairfield16582204
Trumbull16559483
Medina15615273
Greene15289248
Clark14240306
Wood13296200
Portage13251216
Allen11916239
Richland11610211
Miami10857225
Wayne9147225
Columbiana9038230
Muskingum8908135
Pickaway8663122
Tuscarawas8654251
Marion8646139
Erie8058165
Ashtabula7171179
Hancock6998133
Ross6946163
Geauga6843151
Scioto6536106
Belmont6159174
Union584849
Lawrence5739102
Jefferson5681159
Huron5550122
Sandusky5444126
Darke5420129
Seneca5350128
Washington5323109
Athens524360
Auglaize502287
Mercer487585
Shelby477095
Knox4573112
Madison444566
Ashland435897
Putnam4335104
Defiance432399
Fulton432174
Crawford4045110
Brown402561
Logan387678
Preble3858105
Clinton379166
Ottawa373581
Highland359966
Williams348478
Champaign344959
Guernsey325254
Jackson318354
Perry297350
Morrow291840
Fayette285550
Hardin275565
Henry273667
Holmes2703101
Coshocton269260
Van Wert247264
Adams243256
Pike242835
Gallia240850
Wyandot234756
Hocking220663
Carroll197448
Paulding176642
Meigs148540
Monroe136345
Noble136239
Harrison114138
Morgan110024
Vinton85717
Unassigned03
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 73°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 70°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 72°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 73°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
75° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 75°
The warming trend continues into Thursday with highs reaching into the middle 80s.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events