COLONIE—After two almost–candidates for a statewide office addressed the Conservative Party’s political action conference, Peter King’s direct attacks on would-be opponent Kirsten Gillibrand came as a refreshing change.
First, there was the swipe in his speech.
“I am looking at it very carefully,” said King, who said he would run for the U.S. Senate seat Gillibrand now occupies when it looked like it would be given to Caroline Kennedy. “I’m just not sure who I’m running against when I’m running against Kirsten Gilibrand.”
It was the first question King was asked after his 25-minute speech – which dealt with issues of terrorism and immigration – when cornered by reporters. (Video below)
Gillibrand has rapidly adjusted her positions on a number of issues, including her stances on gun ownership rights and immigration.
Assemblyman Peter Rivera, the chairman of his chamber's Hispanic Task Force who raised concerns about Gillibrand's record, told me last week he was very satisfied with a meeting she held with Latino lawmakers two weeks ago.
"Only time will tell where she's going to end up on this," Rivera said. "But from what I've seen from all her statements and all her stance, she's with the immigrant community 110 percent. I cannot now say that she's anti-immigrant. She's become a strong supporter of immigrant issues in the state and the nation, in the course of a week. I really didn't think she could move that fast on the issue, that she'd be bound by complexity and the traditions of life."
King said he needs to gauge the logistics of a run, but expected he could be underway in earnest by this summer. He said he thought Rudy Giuliani "still is, very seriously, looking at a run for governor."
When King was asked what he thought of people claiming Gillibrand was too conservative to represent New York, he went beyond bewilderment into full attack:
"I just tell them to wait till next week. At the rate she's going she may be too liberal for San Francisco."