The Washington Times - July 18, 2013, 10:57AM

Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican, may make a run for the White House in 2016 and reportedly is telling friends who are pushing him to take his terrorism expertise to the executive levels — maybe.

“I saw Peter last week and he certainly didn’t rule [a presidential run] out,” one source close to the congressman, who requested anonymity, said on Newsmax. “A lot of folks are telling him to do it and he sure acts interested.”

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Mr. King, former House Homeland Security Committee chairman, is being encouraged by a wide range of wealthy backers who stand ready to help him reach the White House, Newsmax said.

“I think it would be a great thing if Peter King ran for president,” said Michael Mukasey, a former federal judge, in Newsmax. “He’s a great leader and I would applaud his running.

And from former Rep. Barry Goldwater Jr., California Republican, was this: “We’ve fallen down in foreign policy. … Peter well understands this. He stands out in a crowd and says what’s on his mind,” Newsmax reported.

But reality could hit hard at his campaign. Not since 1880, when James Garfield was elected, has a member of the House of Representatives made a successful direct run to the White House. Reps. Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul have since tried and failed.