Peter King for 2016?
July 18th, 2013
07:29 PM ET
9 months ago

Peter King for 2016?

(CNN) – A lot of people have been floated as potential candidates for the 2016 presidential race.

But few expected Republican Rep. Peter King, a longtime congressman from Long Island, to submit his name to the possible crop of contenders.

In media interviews and in a fundraising email to supporters Thursday evening, King did just that, saying he's being nudged to consider a presidential bid because of his national security experience.

He's also concerned about the direction of the GOP on matters of foreign policy. His younger Republican colleagues and speculated 2016 contenders, Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, hold national security views that are potentially "damaging" to the GOP, he said.

King, who's now in his 11th term, cited Michael Mukasey, former federal judge and U.S. attorney general under George W. Bush, and former California Rep. Barry Goldwater Jr. as two Republicans supporting the idea of a 'King for President' campaign.

"While I'm nowhere near ready to declare my candidacy, I am concerned about the lack of a coherent national security and homeland security and counterterrorism policy by the Republican Party," he wrote in the email.

"So, I won't rule out a possible run," he added, including a link where supporters can donate to his congressional campaign.

Speaking to CBS News earlier, King said he hadn't formed an exploratory committee but is "looking at it."

"This all came very suddenly in the last week or so," he said.

The 69-year-old said Paul and Cruz, who tend to have more non-interventionist viewpoints on foreign policy, are looking at national security "from a very backwards point of view."

"Basically they seem more concerned about the CIA killing Americans having a cup of coffee in Starbucks than they are about us being attacked by Islamic terrorists," King said, referring to the recent drone debate spearheaded by Paul and Cruz.

"I don't want over the next year, 18 months, two years, for the Republican foreign policy debate to be dominated by people like Sen. Rand Paul," he added.

King, whose constituents were deeply affected by 9/11, has been known for his hardline view on Islamic extremism in the United States. He led a series of controversial hearings in 2011 on what he dubbed as the radicalization of Muslims within U.S. borders.

He held his chairmanship on the Homeland Security Committee in 2005-2006 and again in 2011-2012. He is now chair of the subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence.

If he decides to run, King has a strong homebase in New York for fundraising efforts. The state is known as a lucrative wellspring for those seeking campaign contributions.

King criticized some in the GOP for trying to tap into that wellspring earlier this year, including potential 2016 contender Sen. Marco Rubio. King blasted his fellow Republicans for trying to raise money in the state, despite initially voting against federal relief aid after Superstorm Sandy.

- CNN's Dana Bash contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2016 • New York • Peter King
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. J'cincinnati'Redd

    King,is the right man for the job. But as a Republican i have to face the facts. if Clinton runs she wins. how could she loose? she will get the woman vote the the black vote gay vote latino vote,i mean even poor white out of work males who refused to vote for Obama. we dont stand a chance so why play games with all of this. lets use the money to keep control of the house. that about all we will ever have.

    July 18, 2013 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  2. labman57

    Sorry, Petey. There simply are not enough Islamophobes and conspiracy theorists among the American electorate for you to win the presidency.

    July 18, 2013 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  3. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    He's right. The Guns Over People tea potty are too busy loving traitors and exposing intel secrets to keep Americans safe.

    July 18, 2013 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  4. Donkey Party

    As long as the GOP keeps fielding insane candidates like Cruz, Paul, and King, America won't have to worry about a Republican in the White House, ever.

    July 18, 2013 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  5. Pete

    King a presidencial candidate,that loud ,obnoxious Yankee that thinks everything is better in NY..This is a joke right or does the clown car actually need a guy to drive that piece of crap around ,one that talks better than he actually does,that king,an idiot as well!!

    July 18, 2013 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  6. TrustKnow1

    While the GOP is desperately seeking a rep for 2016, why not try Peter Griffin?

    July 18, 2013 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  7. S. B. Stein

    The odds are against him. He doesn't have the national name recognition that others do. The history of members of the House winning the presidency are short because it hasn't been done all that often. I don't think that he can really connect with the social conservatives as others like Perry do.

    July 18, 2013 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  8. Just a thought

    Well, I have to say King is about the only House Republican that I wouldn't laugh hysterically if he ran. He is half way decent as far as a Republican goes. He's serious and doesn't throw out the usual hateful stupidity. Therefore, he would never get support from the GOP/Tea Tard troglodites....in other words he doesn't have chance...but good guy for the most part.

    July 19, 2013 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  9. ThinkAgain

    Peter King, who supported the terrorist organization, the Irish Republican Army?

    THAT Peter King?

    July 19, 2013 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  10. TNPatriot

    King won't have a chance. He is too rational and level headed for the Koch brothers and their puppets (tea party, Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck and Fox news) to support, so they will go after him with every lie and fabrication they can think of.

    July 19, 2013 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  11. Name Uche Agonsi

    Glad to hear the Repubs against each other. But King however, deserves my sympathy for faulting his mates on only Security Matters. The Repubs have long ceased to be party with any direction, but to protect the rich American. Besides, King's Security fronting is exactly one major resentment I have against Repubs.......their love for war & increased defence expenses. Its sadness & sorrowing that no Repub has mentioned any peaceful agenda in his presidential bid.

    July 19, 2013 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
  12. M.A.P.

    Doesn't matter who the loser GOPers chose to run as their cadidate. Hilary has already won. GO HILARY 2016!

    July 19, 2013 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
  13. onlyfacts

    The only problem with Mr. "Obama Appology Tour" running for President is the 12 votes he'd get. I don't think that is enough. He might have a relative turning 18 soon, so maybe 13 votes.

    July 19, 2013 07:45 am at 7:45 am |