Republican Congressman slams Senators Cruz, Paul – calls for moderate GOP voice
December 16th, 2013
09:00 PM ET
5 years 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. ThinkAgain

    King, you and your party made this bed – no sympathy from ANYONE now that you're having to lie in it.

    December 16, 2013 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  2. Evergreen

    Enough with the PACs. PACs have not improved our system of goverance, and has probably made it worse.

    December 16, 2013 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  3. larry

    King never knows day by day how to say something. never know what side or position is right

    December 16, 2013 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  4. Randy, San Francisco

    House Republlican moderates can hold their meeting in a telephone booth with room to spare.

    December 16, 2013 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  5. Kunuckle

    The Republican party are in need of more men like this. As a Canadian I can honestly say Obama is farther right than the Prime Minister of Canada who is Conservative. Those who scream about socialism have no idea of what they are talking about Obviously do not understand what the income of their own country is, and quite simply do not understand anything about economics or finance.

    December 16, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  6. Kinard

    Too late. Your party embraced the fringe element of the political spectrum, now live with your decision to do so. Your soul purpose in garnering favor from every mindless group of people who's only desire was to elevate their own causes, was done so to win elections and gain power. Your party leaders cared not for the country, just the party. For this you have my eternal distrust and desire to see your party defeated in every theater of political endeavor.

    December 16, 2013 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  7. Thomas

    "Senator Cruz remains focused on making Washington listen by protecting working people from Obamacare and getting the economy growing again.

    Green eggs and Ham

    December 16, 2013 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  8. just me

    The knives are coming out. Looks like some repubs are finally starting to figure out that louder does not equal smarter. Expect snarky ads from the Koch bros., inc.

    December 17, 2013 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  9. Mr. M

    Gotta love partisans. Listening to them try to justify either of the corrupt political parties is both painful and entertaining, in a curious way.

    But the poor Democrats really are the worst. I can say this, because I use to be one. But not the Democrats as they are defined today, not that it matters, if you get sucked into that false left/right paradigm, you will forever be lost until you break free of the limiting duality.

    Plus Democrats have the added burden as being mostly pro-government. That's a pretty lousy thing to want to champion. It's not as though government has a good track record doing anything.

    Republicans, of course, are no better. Other then they tend to talk "individuality," but rarely actively promote it.

    Basically both parties are owned and controlled by the same special-interests and corrupt elites, and any difference between the two is purely cosmetic.

    And if you don't know that by now, I feel sorry for you.

    December 17, 2013 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  10. troppo1

    Let the GOP/TP war begin, hopfully we will end up with an opposition party that helps and no longer hinders

    December 17, 2013 03:48 am at 3:48 am |
  11. Marie MD

    Not sure why they are doing it now but where have they been since 2009?
    It also makes me wonder if the koch brothers are now giving their millions to others and are done with their "grassroots" party.
    Unfortunately some of them are deeply rooted in their gerrymandered districts.

    December 17, 2013 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  12. Charles

    Finally the Republican's are waking up to the fact that crazy will not win you elections or run the county. Rick "God told me I would be President" Perry and the crazies in Texas (as well as Mr. Cruz) will find this out in the next elections. How did such a lunatic fringe take over the Republican Party nation wide? Religious and Racial bigotry doesn't wash to well with the majority of Americans. Women, children, old people, the poor and working poor all do matter to voters. Schools, fire protection, police protection, safe bridges, the environment all matter to voters.

    Oh and reguardless of what Mitt Romney says Corporations are not people. The bottom line is not the only thing that matters in America. Fair Play, honesty, good governance, taking care of Americans in need and sick people do matter in America!

    December 17, 2013 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  13. TomInRochNY

    Could the pendulum finally be swinging back? Is sanity returning to the GOP?

    December 17, 2013 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  14. smith

    Cruz and Paul need to accept this the direction the GOP is heading. The moderate right is taking over and setting Christie up to be the potus in 2016.

    December 17, 2013 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  15. Tampa Tim

    What group does Ted Cruz think he represents, certainly not a majority? I am not convinced he could not even win in the SC primary. The brain dead may believe that Ted's shutting down the government which cost us $24 billion helped workers and the uninsured. But, in reality, his ill thought antics in order to at become the darling of domestic terrorists, and that alone, would propel him to become the GOP nominee, defies common sense.

    December 17, 2013 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  16. Alan S.

    Extremists like Rand, and Paul who are funded via the Tea Party founders (The Koch Bros. and Big Tobacco) are representing primarily the interests of their "Masters of the Dark Side" and NOT they people who voted them into public office in the first place. Via Pacs, the Koch Brothers have been successful in having Congress passing Laws keeping them out of Prison for such things as stealing oil from Native Americans, illegal discharge of Chemicals into the atmosphere and selling equipment to Iran. The GOP needs the voice of the voters not that of special interest.

    December 17, 2013 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  17. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    "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,"
    Who says we need Rafael Cruz' protection from Obamacare. We voted for this President not just once, but twice! The second time around he ran on Obamacare and won. It's the law of the land and these teahadists can't deal with it.

    December 17, 2013 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  18. Gurgyl

    Very pathetic guys of GOP cult. Vote every one of these GOP out, for USA sake. Thus you can drive evil away. God bless!

    December 17, 2013 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  19. just asking

    The Koch brothers will go after him, spending big money pushing their agenda above all, evil, greedy men. They ate trying to control everything from birth control, and of course abortion, your right to vote, your access to education, healthcare, I could go on all day. We need to stand up and vote their candidates out, even if you have to vote for the Democrats, the lesser of two evils I'm afraid.

    December 17, 2013 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  20. just saying

    We simply can't trust the tea party nuts, vote democrat if you must. I hope he gets some sane republicans on board, but big money will crush common sense in lue of corruption in the gop, no hope here .

    December 17, 2013 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  21. cry babies

    The only republican with a brain, idiots would rather have Cruz, and look at his state, sad for the people of Texas, high jacked by nuts like him and Perry . They have the most corrupt government down there, low wages and no health insurance, in a state with laxed regulations is a bad recipe, fertilizer anyone?

    December 17, 2013 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Bravo, Mr. King. It has never been up to Democrats to defeat the Tea Party. It has always been the Republicans' responsibility to clean up their own mess of a party. They've finally figured out that 2010 was a fluke. They lost a 2012 presidential race that they should have easily won solely because of the extremist views that were put on graphic display both on the campaign trail and in state houses around the country. They haven't figured out that the Tea Party is an even bigger problem at the state level, yet. They will. Once they realize that the fundamentalists will want to tear down not just the federal government, but the state and local governments, too.

    December 17, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  23. waukone

    When King looks moderate the GOP has really gone off the tracks.

    December 17, 2013 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  24. Winning

    I like what he's doing, but to be perfectly honest, Rep. King isn't even a moderate to me, he's just slightly less extreme than the people he's against. But I'm happy to see him taking on Rand Paul. I cannot believe that charlatan gets as much attention as he does. He is not a libertarian. He is a typical conservative authoritarian and nothing like his father. He is also a liar and an idea thief.

    December 17, 2013 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  25. Larry Liberal

    Sorry conservatives. Your Republican Party is no more. The Tea Party has taken over.

    December 17, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
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