ROCKWELL CITY - For Republicans, this year's election is a struggle against liberal politicians who would seek to undermine the things that make the United States great, according to U.S. Rep. Steve King.
''I see them as those little leftists that are running around working day and night,'' the Republican from Kiron said Tuesday evening. ''They've got little jackhammers and they're chiseling away at the beautiful marble pillars of American exceptionalism.''
He told about 60 people gathered at the Calhoun County Republican Family Picnic in Rockwell City that preserving American values is the task facing Republicans.
''I'm about freedom,'' he said. ''I'm about liberty. I'm about our constitutional values and refurbishing the pillars of American exceptionalism. I'm about full-spectrum constitutional conservatism.''
Although he referred to ''pillars of American exceptionalism'' a few times during his speech, King did not define them.
During his remarks inside the Rockwell City Community Center, King said he's been battling liberals during the entire decade he's been in Congress. He admitted that he once ''unloaded'' on Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee by calling them ''a bunch of Marxists.'' He said they were not insulted by his words.
King is seeking to represent the new 4th Congressional District, which includes Webster County and all of its surrounding counties. He is opposed by Democrat Christie Vilsack, of Ames.
The congressman mentioned Vilsack just once and reserved his criticism for Democratic President Barack Obama, whom he described as ''way out of touch.''
''This man has convinced me he does not believe in free enterprise,'' King said.
He again stated that his top priorities are repealing the health care reform law and passing a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget.
State Rep. Tom Shaw, R-Laurens, also addressed the group. He said Republicans need to stay involved in all levels of government.
''I think the days of going and voting and thinking that we've completed our civic duty and that's all we need to do are behind us,'' he said.
Shaw defeated Maison Bleam, of Twin Lakes, in the primary election in House District 10 and has no Democratic opponent in the November general election. House District 10 includes Calhoun, Humboldt and Pocahontas counties plus western Webster County.
House District 10 includes part of the district now represented by state Rep. David Tjepkes, R-Gowrie. Tjepkes will retire from the Legislature after 10 years of service when his term expires in early January.
Tjepkes spoke briefly, thanking the Calhoun County Republicans for their support. He received a standing ovation.