07/19/2013 10:42 am ET

Peter King Says He's Considering Running For President In 2016

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) has responded to speculation that he is considering a presidential bid in 2016. King, who believes his party has failed to properly address issues of national defense, told MSNBC that he is "certainly willing to be out there and be a spokesperson and see where this goes."

The media storm began Wednesday when Newsmax reported that King was being encouraged by friends to pursue the GOP presidential nomination.

"At a time when terrorism poses a greater danger than ever to our country, Peter has a terrific background in this area and a superb background in legislative affairs," Michael Mukasey, a former federal judge and U.S. attorney general, told Newsmax.

On Thursday afternoon, King addressed the speculation, telling the outlet that he was "going to look at" the idea of running.

"I wouldn't be doing it to play games," he said. "If I do it, it's because I'm serious about it."

King has been critical of other potential GOP contenders, who he says have not taken the issue of national defense seriously enough.

"We've got people like Rand Paul, whose main concern seems to be some guy sitting at a Starbucks drinking coffee is gonna get killed by a CIA drone," King told ABC News on Thursday. "We're becoming isolationist, we should be the party of Eisenhower and Reagan, and be strong on national defense ... So because of all of that people have come, they've asked me, and I'm gonna certainly look at it."



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