- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rep. Peter T. King said Thursday that President Obama’s “mixed messages” on terrorism and his handling of the economy have opened the door for Republicans to deny him a second term next year.

“I think President Obama is very vulnerable,” Mr. King, New York Republican, said in an interview on The Washington Times-affiliated “America’s Morning News” radio program.

“Any president who is going to have more than 8 percent unemployment, with gas prices at $4.50 … right away, that makes him vulnerable. And on terrorism, while I do give him a lot of credit for getting [Osama] bin Laden, the fact is he has very mixed messages,” added Mr. King, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee.

“On one hand, he says everyone gets credit for having bin Laden killed, while on the other hand his administration is carrying out a criminal investigation of the interrogators who gave us the information that led to bin Laden.”

The longtime congressman, whom some supporters have urged to seek the GOP nomination in 2012, said Thursday he hasn’t entirely ruled out that prospect.

“I’m not having any illusions or delusions right now, and I am focusing on re-election,” he said. “But I feel, you know, let’s see where this goes … I haven’t got any plane reservations for Iowa or New Hampshire. But I’m not ruling it out.”