NEW YORK, NY – Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., says he is serious about a 2016 presidential run, amid an already deep field of potential candidates.
“This is not a game I’m playing, I’m serious,” King told The Hill newspaper after spending part of last week talking with residents in New Hampshire, the first-in-the-nation primary state in which campaigns are often either made or broken.
King, an 11-term House member, told The Hill he’s returning to New Hampshire in early September to further explore a run, but won’t make a decision until early 2015.
“I’m serious about looking at it, and we’ll see where it goes from there,” said King, who right now is a longshot candidate. “I have no intention of being there just for the sake of being there. So if I think there’s any real chance and support, then we’ll move forward.”
Still, the House Intelligence Committee member and former chairman of the chamber’s Homeland Security Committee is among the most visible and outspoken Republicans on the Obama administration and national security.
King also has been critical of GOP Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, two potential Tea Party-backed presidential candidates whom he thinks are creating a sense of isolationism within the party.
“I think this can be very damaging to the Republican Party, but most importantly, to the country,” he told Fox News on Saturday.