“It bothers me when the leading Republicans out there — someone like Rand Paul seems more concerned about an American being killed in Starbucks by a CIA drone than he is about Islamic terrorism,” said Mr. King, New York Republican, during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program. “We are the party of Eisenhower and Reagan, which believes in a strong national defense. I’m willing to be out there and be a spokesman.”
Mr. King said he’s being encouraged to run for the Republican nomination for president because of his strong positions on national security.
While the race is still three years away, it’s widely assumed that Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Sen. Ted Cruz also will seek the GOP nomination, and Mr. King believes the two freshman senators simply don’t represent true Republican views on national defense and security, Mr. King said.
“A number of people in the last several months, particularly in New York but also from around the country, were concerned about the lack of a real defense policy and a real defense debate among Republican candidates for president, focusing primarily on Rand Paul and Ted Cruz,” Mr. King said. “We have real national security issues. … We can’t have an isolationist trend, which I think is being pursued by Rand Paul.”