Republican Congressman slams Senators Cruz, Paul – calls for moderate GOP voice
December 16th, 2013
09:00 PM ET
11 months ago

Republican Congressman slams Senators Cruz, Paul – calls for moderate GOP voice

(CNN) – Republican Rep. Peter King on Monday unveiled a Political Action Committee called "American Leadership Now" aimed at supporting moderate voices within the Republican Party.

King of New York was in the early primary state of New Hampshire to speak with conservative groups.

He told CNN the location for the unveiling of the PAC was not a coincidence.

"If we're talking about changing the direction of the Republican Party, New Hampshire is the place to go," King said, describing the national media attention the Granite State often attracts because of its presidential politics.

King describes the mission of the PAC as a vehicle to promote moderate voices that would avoid situations like the recent federal government shutdown during budget negotiations on Capitol Hill.

"I want to create a presence for those like myself who feel Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are out of touch with the American people," King told ABC News, referring to conservative Republican Senators both viewed as potential 2016 presidential candidates.

"It's basically to meet Republicans and find others who share my views," King also told ABC.

He confirmed those comments to CNN as well.

Cruz's communications director, Sean Rushton, responded to King's comments in a statement to CNN.

"Senator Cruz remains focused on making Washington listen by protecting working people from Obamacare and getting the economy growing again. Americans don't care about bickering from D.C. politicians," Rushton said.

Paul's office declined to comment.

But as Cruz and Paul keep their focus on Washington, King is searching out like-minded moderate conservatives to give voice to the issues he believes the Republican Party was built around outside of the Capitol.

His stops in New Hampshire included a meeting with local groups, "The Committee to Elect House Republicans" and the "Northeast Regional Troopers Coalition" as well as a dinner with former New Hampshire Sen. Bob Smith, who recently announced he will seek to return to the Senate.

King describes the PAC as committed to building a stronger national GOP with a focus on national defense, foreign policy and expanded opportunities for Americans

He told CNN operations for the PAC will be based out of Boston.

King told CNN previously when he first announced the trip to New Hampshire that he wouldn't make up his mind about a presidential run for "another year-and-a-half." But he said he understood how this latest trip would further fuel speculation.

In defense of the trip, King said at that time he is "just taking advantage of an opportunity" to see what people outside of Washington think about politics and the Republican Party.

– CNN's Cassie Spodak contributed to this report.


Filed under: GOP • New Hampshire • Peter King • Republican Party
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. rla

    Moderate voices are what got us here along with the GOP not having a clue and led by these same people - Sorry King but you need to go!

    December 17, 2013 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  2. Walter Adams

    It's amazing how a far right zealot like Peter King can seem moderate when he's comparing himself to Ted Cruz. Granted, Cruz is on an ego trip and has done nothing to create jobs, but King has no accomplishments worthy of comment. "At least I didn't advocate shutting down the government" isn't much of a presidential slogan.

    December 17, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  3. Gurgyl

    Very bad for GOP cult.

    December 17, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  4. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Radal, the house GOP coke head should be added to kings list . The teabag radal from Florida is just trying to complete his first year so he can milk the goverment for his FULL pension after ONE YEAR of PARTIME SERVICE, kick the GOP teaparty bum out!!!!!

    December 17, 2013 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  5. Hector Slagg

    Humm,
    As hard as it is to believe somebody has to mind the store. We have had moderation/compromise for the last 100 years. The country has a 17 Trillion Dollar Federal debt to show for it, and the "Moderates" want to spend more. Damn the Torpedoes and Full Speed Ahead! Withe those "Moderate" Programs we now have Obama Care, and a severe deficit of jobs. On top of that the Liberal's and Know Nothings want the Conservatives and Republican't to pay for it.The latest Code Word is Income Equality. Sorry Pal but if you want more income you are going to have to grubb for it.

    December 17, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  6. ghostwriter

    Seriously republican...you can't get a divorce now that things aren't working out the way you thought. You figured back in 2008 that if you had any chance, you would need to rally the troops. And your rallying point was to bring about this divisiveness you often accuse Obama of producing. You brought the crazies out....now you have to deal with them.

    December 17, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  7. Winning

    Well Hector, a couple years back, if you'd have had moderate Republicans in control of the house, you might have gotten a grand bargain that your extremists refused to even think about because it included tax increases as well as spending cuts. Your tax cuts are at least 50% of the reason we are in this position to begin with. That's why you need moderates, the "my way or the highway" approach of your zealots has shafted the very cause they claim they feel is so important: eliminating the deficit and paying down the debt. Keep listening to Mark Levin though, the guy never lies.

    December 17, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  8. much thunder..little rain

    there is no moderate voices on either side anymore....most are far right or far left...nancy thru all the blue dogs under the bus several yrs ago

    December 17, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
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