The Washington Times - July 19, 2013, 01:07PM

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded to a question with a question Friday when asked about the news that Republican Rep. Peter King is flirting with a run for the White House in 2016.

“Was he serious?” Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, said with a chuckle. “He is a great guy and I like him personally like the rest, but let me say this, … it is a long way off for us.”

SEE RELATED: Rep. Peter King aims to save GOP from Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz

Mr. King, New York Republican, said in an interview with ABC News Thursday that he is giving a presidential bid some thought, in part to counter such rising conservative stars in the party as Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas.

“My concern right now is I don’t see anyone at the national level speaking enough on, to me, what’s important – national security, homeland security, counterterrorism,” Mr. King said. “I would hope that our party is not defined by Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. I’m not crazy about Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. But on the other hand, you know, guys like Chris Christie and Jeb Bush, I have a lot of regard for.”

On Friday, Mr. Paul and Mr. Cruz were in Iowa, home to the caucuses that kick off the GOP presidential race.