Washington (CNN) - Rep. Peter King's name has not previously come up as a possible presidential candidate. But could he soon enter the race?
"I'm not going to say no," the New York congressman told CNN in a telephone interview on Wednesday.
King is the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. Next week, he'll hold hearings on how the death of Osama bin Laden impacts homeland security. In March, King held hearings on the radicalization of Muslim Americans.
The Long Island Republican explained the origins behind the notion of a possible presidential bid. King said that on Tuesday night – at a dinner for the Nassau County Republican Committee – chairman Joseph Mondello said he'd be supportive if he ran for president. King said that pledge of support followed similar sentiments expressed by others a few weeks ago.
King emphatically said he's "focusing entirely on re-election to Congress," and added that presently, "I'm not forming any exploratory committee. I'm not going to New Hampshire. I'm not going to Iowa."
And yet, King did not close the door on the idea of running.
"What happens, happens," he said. "I'm not going to say no," King said, referring to any efforts from the Nassau GOP group aimed at getting him to run.
Meanwhile, King took aim at a man who is running for president.
King lashed out at former House speaker Newt Gingrich's harsh criticisms of Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan – comments that Gingrich has now apologized for.
"It's a little too late," King said. "It was his own ego that made him say it in the first place. Newt cannot talk about things except in apocalyptic terms."
Accusing Gingrich of not being able "to share the spotlight with anyone," King added, "Newt was being the Republican Barack Obama, in attacking Paul Ryan. To me, it's unforgivable."
And King said he is not buying Gingrich's apology.
"All of us make mistakes. This was Newt Gingrich overreaching, exaggerating and attacking one of the most well-liked people in the Republican Party."
– CNN's Rebecca Stewart contributed to this report
–Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @ShanTravisCNN
Now we know why he is conducting all these stupid hearings instead of dealing with the issues that are necessary, like raising the debt limit, TODAY.
I live in the NY Metro area and I can't recall ever viewing Mr. King as what I would call visionary. Nor has he demonstrated any boring [but necessary] managerial execution chops. He's not shown himself to be in command of the details. Finally, with all of his time in public life and in front of the cameras, he has not demonstrated the desire or ability to inspire others to do great and difficult things. There is ZERO evidence that he is a leader.
This man is far to partisan and too rough around the edges to be President. The press should STOP stroking his ego to even put a mike in front of him on the question of running for the Presidency.
Why do so many of these GOP guys look like stereotypical old time fat cat political bosses? Newt, Haley and now King. At least Romney and Huntsman don't look like they are ready sell you some shady deal.
Yikes! Another *Koch-Roach* panderer who's allowed his over bloated ego to get the best of him. Going to have to step to the back of the line of GOPer pretenders already parading their way through the media camps, King. Best hurry now, that lines-a-getting longer and longer, and (not to belittle the point) evermore comical.
Lord, are the standards REALLY this low for the republican party? Looking at the current crop of nominees, I'd say so. It's pathetic. It's a real testament to the state of the republican party and the absolute lack of seriousness they have toward actual governance and solving this nations problems. Palin, Bachmann, Gingrich...seriously?
Rep. King is a microcosm of the Republican Party's ideology and policies. They remind me of The Inquisition, and Rep. King is the grand inquisitor. You must live your life a certain way that meets their approval, and they will pass laws to ensure that you do. That is a strange way to run a democracy.
A hack politician from the Nassau County political machine that gave us the likes of Al D'Amato. Just what the US needs.
you can say yes all you want. You will not win!
Please say NO! President King doesn't even sound right man.
Just what we need: yet another narrow-minded Republican paranoiac.
Rep. King's district includes Wall Street. You decide.
Sure, why not. Let's change the office of POTUS to Grand Wizard. This guy would fit that title.
Oh good gracious you have GOT to be kidding me! Seriously??? Sure, King . . . jump on in, the waters fine . . . .glug, glug, glug, glug!
WOW.......The Republican side of the election race just keeps getting better and better. Late night comics are loving it. I think Peter "Pan" King should run. He should run hard until he is out of site and he doesn't have to say "NO". The American people can say it for him. This guy couldn't even win an election running against his own shadow.
When I read the headline, I thought this meant that Rep. King would actually take a bi-partisan approach to his responsibility as a representative and paid employee of the American people.
Boy, was I wrong ... just another Repub loon who has no new ideas, just a desire to make President Obama and our country fail ...
Peter King is one tough NY guy! Let's get Chris Christie at the top of the ticket and Peter King as VP. Now THAT is a kick arse duo!! No withering, dithering fools like Obama and Crazy Joe.
He might have a better shot at being appointed KING OF RUSSIA!!!!
LOL Now seriously folks.... really??? really??? King is another typical republican arrogant fat full of him self big mouth.....he has as much chnce of being president as a snow ball in hell LOL It looks like Obama will be around until 2016 The only decent candidate the GOP has is Romney and the GOP hates him LOL
The other King from Iowa is just as wacky as this King from New York. There must be a lot of money to be made running for President, other wise why would these people that have no chance of ever becoming President run? That pretty well fits the description of all the Republican/Tea Party people.
You must live your life a certain way that meets their approval, and they will pass laws to ensure that you do.
You mean like be responsible for yourself and not mooch off the rest of us? Yes, definitely asking too much of you.
In a related story, I too am not going to say no to Presidential suggestions. And I stand just as much chance of being asked as Peter "Where's the BoogeyMan?" King – exactly ZERO.
Just when I thought the GOP couldn't get funnier/crazier/more stupid/more irrelevant.