Iowa Congressman Apologizes for Rude Helen Thomas Reference
By E&P Staff
Published: June 22, 2006 2:00 AM ET
NEW YORK Rep. Steve King, a Republican from Iowa, apologized to Helen Thomas on Wednesday for disparaging comments he made about the veteran White House correspondent.
Last Saturday, Rep. King, while discussing the death of terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi at the state Republican convention, said, "What occurred to me that morning is something that I imagine a lot of you have thought about and he's probably figured it out by now. There probably are not 72 virgins in the hell he's at and if there are, they probably all look like Helen Thomas."
The remark drew wide laughter and applause.
A spokeswoman for the two-term congressman said King has apologized to Thomas, 85, now writing a column for Hearst newspapers.
King is running for re-election this fall.
Joyce Schulte, King's Democratic opponent in November, said
"Mean-spirited remarks are beneath the dignity of any self respecting congressperson, and remarks about another person's appearance are even lower. I hesitate to even use Helen Thomas' name in the same document with so vile a wretch as al-Zarqawi. But I want her and the world to know that Iowans are not insensitive buffoons who make fun at someone else's expense."