During the ongoing discussion of the Real Conservatives considering a 2016 bid, (and boy do you have a lot to say about that) there were more than a few, shall we say… less than charitable comments about New York Congressman Peter King mulling a bid for the White House. Well, I don’t know if Representative King lurks in the Hot Air comments section or if it’s one of those accidents of freak timing, but it’s almost as if he heard you. No sooner was the virtual ink dry on the page than he showed up to assure everyone that he was absolutely, positively, definitely thinking about maybe running for President.
Rep. Peter King says he’s dead serious about exploring a bid for the White House, even as GOP strategists and consultants offer steep and potentially insurmountable odds for the New York Republican.
“This is not a game I’m playing, I’m serious,” King told The Hill after spending the earlier part of this week in New Hampshire meeting with voters.
King said he’s headed back to the first-in-the-nation primary state for the first two weekends in September to continue testing the waters, but that his final decision won’t likely come before early 2015.
King didn’t make his bones on so-con issues, but was always big on cutting taxes and spending. His big issues, however, were all rooted in the more neoconservative, strong national defense positions. This no doubt led to his position as chair of the Homeland Security Committee and member of the Intelligence panel. He’s had a lot to say on those subjects, frequently showing up as a vocal critic of the President on all things foreign policy. (Though he did give grudging credit to Obama for shutting down the embassies during the recent terror alert.)
These things apparently set him up to see himself as a natural opponent of Rand Paul – a strategy which he no doubt views as good positioning for the intra-party debate to come.
“This has nothing to do with Rand Paul personally, but I definitely want to keep the party from going the route of what I call the ‘Rand Paul isolationist wing’ of the party,” King said.
“At the same time I’m testing the waters myself presidentially. It’s sort of like walking and chewing gum at the same time. I’m very serious about the issue but I’m also very serious about seeing what the possibilities are about running for president.”
King told the Burlington Free Press earlier this week that Paul’s policies have “set the Republican Party back 50 years.”
So is he crazy to think he’s in the running for 2016? Probably. But then again, who would have predicted in November of 2011 that Rick Santorum was going to be the last man standing against Mitt? (And before you answer, remember… we have a full archive of all your comments here.) And while I realize you’re still debating the question vigorously in yesterday’s thread, who is the frontrunner at this point? The real answer is that we don’t have one, though we could, without much difficulty, find one big slug of folks saying it’s Christie and another saying it’s Cruz. The Democrats have had their frontrunner since the day after the last election – assuming she actually runs – so looking back at the circus of the last GOP primary, perhaps King isn’t as crazy as all that.