Former Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said he’s still pondering a run for the White House because he doesn’t want Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) define the GOP.
King, who’s made five trips up to early primary state New Hampshire and admitted in July that he’s toying with the idea of a presidential campaign, told MSNBC he hasn’t made up his mind yet and his decision should come “sometime next year, either next year or the beginning of 2015.”
“Again, I’ve been up there five times. I am looking at it. People are talking to me. But so far, I’m just using it as a chance to find out what’s happening on the ground, support other Republicans. But if I see the support is there, then I’ll make that decision,” he said.
“I think a presidential run itself is very important whether it’s me or somebody else. I don’t want the Ted Cruzes and the Rand Pauls taking over the Republican Party. I want this to be a blue collar, conservative, Ronald Reagan party with someone who can work with organized labor, strong foreign policy, don’t be apologizing for America, don’t be afraid about drones attacking us in Starbucks.”
When asked if he could beat New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), King replied, “I think you should ask Chris Christie if he can beat me.”
“And actually, yeah, I’ve known Chris Christie for quite a while. This is what happens. I mean, if he jumps in, that’s one thing. That wouldn’t — that alone would not be enough to keep me out. I mean, Chris Christie and I get along. We share some views, others we don’t. And we’ll see what happens. But I wouldn’t be deferring to anyone else,” the congressman said.
“…One way or the other, I’ll be to Iowa, yeah, because if nothing else, just to talk to other Republicans to find out what direction the party should go in. I mean, New Hampshire and Iowa set the tone for the campaign and that sets the tone for the party and the country.”