Pete King Is Only Worried About Jeb Bush in 2016

Congressman Pete King. (Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty)

Congressman Pete King. (Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty)

As he mulls running for president, Congressman Pete King isn’t worried about Senators Rand Paul or Marco Rubio, Gov. Scott Walker or Congressman Paul Ryan. Among potential GOP contenders, only ex-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush concerns Mr. King, the Long Island Republican said today.

“Quite frankly, other than Jeb Bush I don’t really see anybody else in the Republican Party that I should be that worried about,” Mr. King declared during an interview with AM970 radio host John Gambling.

Ex-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush visiting New York earlier this year. (Photo: Andy Jacobsohn/Getty)

Ex-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush visiting New York earlier this year. (Photo: Andy Jacobsohn/Getty)

Mr. King, who is considered a long-shot against better-known Republican rivals, announced his potential presidential campaign last year.

Speaking with the Observer at the time, the foreign policy hawk and relative moderate praised Mr. Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as contenders who could impact his decision, as opposed to more Tea Party-aligned candidates like Mr. Paul. Mr. Christie has since been embroiled in the “Bridgegate” scandal.

“It bothers me. Rand Raul is talking about running for president–doing filibusters on drones,” he said then. “The image of the Republican Party is that we’re more concerned about Americans being killed by CIA attacks at Starbucks. We’re more serious than that.”

Despite the confidence expressed during his interview with Mr. Gambling today, Mr. King acknowledged he’d face some significant challenges in any bid, including raising money and rallying support.

“Yeah,” he answered when asked if he’s still mulling a run. “I think it’s June 21 we’ll be in New Hampshire. I get a good reception when I go there. If I do decide to [run], it takes a lot of money and a lot of support, but whenever I go I get a good response.”