The PJ Tatler

King 2016? Congressman Mulling Presidential Run, Visiting New Hampshire

A congressman who has been accused by his colleagues of targeting Muslims in his quest to prevent another terrorist attack is seriously pondering a presidential run in 2016.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, stirred election-watchers last week with comments made on WMUR radio in New Hampshire.

“I am considering a run for president,” King said. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the response I’ve gotten by officials in New Hampshire. I’ve been invited to a number of events.”

King went on to add, “I’ll be coming back next week. I’ll be back again in October. I’m putting a lot of effort into this.”

Yesterday, though, the congressman clarified his remarks.

“What I said was I have been invited to New Hampshire a number of times by people who asked me to consider it. And I have been there speaking to several groups on behalf of local Republican candidates. But I don’t have a campaign committee. I have not solicited any endorsements or any contributions. So, I’m still at the stage where I’m just listening and primarily going to New Hampshire to, again, see what’s happening on the ground and at the invitation of local leaders up there,” King said on CNN.

“…I don’t have an exploratory committee and I’m just basically looking and traveling to New Hampshire. So, if I do make a decision, it will be a year, year and a half from now, at least,” he continued. “…Once my name was put out there and I said I would be willing to consider it sometime in the future, I have now been invited up and I have been there, you know, a number of times. And you know, the reception’s been good, but that’s a long way off.”

King was a key opponent of the Ground Zero mosque and held hearings during his term as chairman on the radicalization of Muslims in America.

He’s going to vote to authorize strikes on Bashar al-Assad “even though I have strong criticism and doubt how the president has handled this.”

“I want people to know I am not blindly following President Obama. The reason I say that is, to me, it makes my position stronger as far as a yes vote. Even though I’m being critical of the president, if I support the decision it’s because I feel this is so important to our national security. And that’s why I’m supporting it. It’s not because of any feelings I have toward the president. It’s because I believe it’s essential the United States take responsive action here, otherwise it will hurt us far more in the future,” King said.

“I cannot guarantee this attack plan will work, but I think I can guarantee if we take no action it will come back to haunt us in the future as Iran become as such as far more power in the region along with Syria.”