Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa said President Obama's "was not raised in the American experience." King was speaking at an immigration reform rally Saturday at Tom Hanafan River's Edge Park in Council Bluffs, Iowa, when he made the comments.
King, a conservative congressman from Iowa, also said "Obama's vision of America" was different from that of his constituents when discussing the surge of undocumented immigrant minors at the border in recent months.
"His vision of America isn't like our version of America. That we know," King said of Obama. "Now I don't assert where he was born, I will just tell you that we are all certain that he was not raised with an American experience. So these things that beat in our hearts when we hear the National Anthem and when we say the Pledge of Allegiance doesn't beat the same for him."
King then brought up an image from the 2008 Democratic presidential campaign that stirred controversy at the time: Sen. Obama not holding his hand over his heart during the National Anthem.
"If you remember when he was a candidate for president he was standing at the front of a row of Democrat candidates for president down at Tom Harkin's steak fry. The rest of them, when they played the National Anthem, had their hand over their heart. But Barack Obama was standing with arms down his side dangling — while the National Anthem was being played. Now, what was that about, was it an act of defiance? I didn't think so. Some thought so."
"I was taught by my grandfather that you put your hand over your heart during the pledge, but during the Star Spangled Banner, you sing!" Obama of the incident at the time.
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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