Peter King ‘Not Ruling Out’ Presidential Run; He Should

An overweight Republican from the northeast is thinking about running for president. No, not that one.

An overweight Republican from the northeast is thinking about running for president. No, not that one.

The Hill (“Rep. King: ‘Not saying no’ to 2016 run“):

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) told The Hill on Thursday he’s open to running for president and sees himself as the most “serious” Republican on national defense currently considering a bid for the GOP nomination.

We’ll see where it goes. I’m not ruling anything out. What I’m going to try to do is certainly use this as an opportunity to get my views out on national defense and foreign policy,” he said in a phone conversation. “I’m not saying no.”

King said he doesn’t want the views espoused by some of his Republican colleagues on national defense — particularly those of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who has said he is considering a presidential run — to characterize the GOP.

“When I see people like Rand Paul talking about drones killing people out to get a cup of coffee, I don’t want that to be the face of the national Republican Party,” he said.

There’s about as much danger of that as there is of Peter King being the nominee. It’s not that King is without credentials:

The former Homeland Security Committee chairman cited his national security experience as one of his greatest assets for a potential run. If former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton runs in 2016, King said: “I know I could answer her on foreign policy.”

King said he hadn’t initially considered the idea with much seriousness, but had been contacted by supporters suggesting the possibility after the Boston Marathon bombings, a time when he featured prominently in the congressional response to the crisis.

He also serves on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Paul, along with a handful of other GOP elected officials, are considered potential 2016 contenders, but few have the background in national defense that King has from his seven-year tenure as chairman of the Homeland Security committee.

Asked what he felt to be his main asset in a potential race, King said he would be the candidate who’s “serious about national defense, foreign policy and homeland security.”

 

The problem is that, while he has genuine expertise on national security policy, there’s scarcely an issue on which he’s not wrong. He’s an anti-Muslim extremist, pro-torture, pro-Provisional IRA, and pro-PATRIOT Act.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Quick Takes, Terrorism
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    The problem is that, while he has genuine expertise on national security policy, there’s scarcely an issue on which he’s not wrong. He’s an anti-Muslim extremist, pro-torture, pro-Provisional IRA, and pro-PATRIOT Act.

    Wow, he seems like a moderate Republican.

  2. stonetools says:

    The problem is that, while he has genuine expertise on national security policy, there’s scarcely an issue on which he’s not wrong. He’s an anti-Muslim extremist, pro-torture, pro-Provisional IRA, and pro-PATRIOT Act.

    Which makes him exactly in tune with the current Republican Party’s base, James. Wake up and smell the coffee.
    Looks like the Republican clown car for the 2016 Presidential campaign will be up to (or down to) the standard of the 2012 version. Yee Haw!

  3. Moosebreath says:

    “He’s an anti-Muslim extremist, pro-torture, pro-Provisional IRA, and pro-PATRIOT Act.”

    You say that as if it will disqualify him in a Republican primary, but I am not sure why.

    Similarly, when you say:

    “When I see people like Rand Paul talking about drones killing people out to get a cup of coffee, I don’t want that to be the face of the national Republican Party,” he said.

    There’s about as much danger of that as there is of Peter King being the nominee.”

    I again wonder if you are actually listening to the party which you are a member of. Rand Paul’s filibuster was very popular among Republicans, because they think of drones as being used to blow up enemies over there, and he was leading the charge to make sure it did not happen to anti-government protesters here. Arguably, for a short time Rand Paul was the face of the Republican party on defense issues.

    At least until Snowden leaked, and Republicans showed they are in favor of government surveillence.

  4. Mr. Prosser says:

    @Moosebreath: They are always in favor of surveillence unless they believe it is applied to them.

  5. Gromitt Gunn says:

    I always get my Representatives King confused. Which one is the Tom Tancredo-wannabe, and which ones hates the Mooooslims?

  6. Moosebreath says:

    @Mr. Prosser:

    “They are always in favor of surveillence unless they believe it is applied to them.”

    Just as they are against government assistance unless they receive it.

  7. Caj says:

    Come one, come all. There’s no one that can beat Hillary Clinton should she choose to run. It will be fun to watch another sideshow like the one we had in 2012. The acts just got better and better. The last elephant in the room was Mr 47% Romney. Wow! He really took the country by storm. Loving the height of trees and loving lakes. Then to top it all that fantastic rendition of America the Beautiful. I bet Justin Bieber was getting really scared! So bring it on and let’s get the party started.

  8. @Gromitt Gunn: Both of them.

  9. Neil Hudelson says:

    Great plan. Most elections have been won on Foreign Policy. Just ask Mitt Romney when he decided that Libya was the chink in the armor he could exploit. Worked out very well indeed.

  10. legion says:

    James – I gotta say, that headline made me laugh.

    More substantively, I’d love to see this guy on the debate circuit answering questions about why supporting terrorism inside one of our greatest allies is AOK. King is just a race-bating bigoted hypocrite, and I don’t think he has any more brainpower supporting his opinions that Rick Perry does – he’s just a lot more bluntly confrontational than Perry.

    But as much as I hate him, it’s really hard to see pictures of him & not think for a moment it’s Walter Bishop from Fringe…

  11. Senyordave says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: They both hate Muslims, and all foreigners othern than white-skinned ones. But Peter King actually inhabits the Planet earth, while Steve King is from ???

  12. Andre Kenji says:

    @Senyordave:

    But Peter King actually inhabits the Planet earth, while Steve King is from ???

    Iowa, a planet located between one of the three stars of Alpha Centauri.

  13. @legion:

    More substantively, I’d love to see this guy on the debate circuit answering questions about why supporting terrorism inside one of our greatest allies is AOK.

    And why he continued to support the PIRA even after they tried to assassinate Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, one of the Republicans’ greatest idols.

  14. mantis says:

    Could be another great primary. Cruz, King, Paul, Santorum and…Palin? Maybe Perry? I can’t wait. I hope Allen West runs, too.

  15. MM says:

    Nothing would be better for the GOP than having a guy run who looks like he fells straight out of central casting for “Corrupt Political Blowhard #3”.