Pete King Says He’s ‘Certainly’ Looking at Running for President

Pete King. (Photo: Getty)
Pete King. (Photo: Getty)

Late last night, Newxmax reported that Long Island GOP Congressman Pete King, not widely considered one of the top contenders for the White House for 2016, was nevertheless looking at running for president, citing anonymous sources.

This afternoon, Mr. King confirmed the report to Politicker.

“It’s certainly something that I’m going to look at,” said Mr. King. “It’s an opportunity to speak out on national security and defense issues.”

Mr. King, who served as chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security and drew national attention for holding controversial hearings on the radicalization of Muslim Americans, said the viewpoints of some of the other expected Republican presidential candidates motivated him to consider the bid after supporters reached out to him.

“It bothers me. [Kentucky Senator] Rand Raul is talking about running for president–doing filibusters on drones,” he said. “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.”

Still, Mr. King stressed that the 2016 race is obviously three years away and that other candidates leaping into the race, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie or former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, could affect his thinking.

“I’m not going to do it unless there’s a real chance,” he said, arguing the Republican Party needs to do a better job at reaching out to Catholic voters and blue-collar unions like building trades. “If I ran, it’d be a different type of coalition than what’s there now.” Pete King Says He’s ‘Certainly’ Looking at Running for President