Want some way-too-early 2016 news? Here you go:
It's starting to look like Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) is definitely going to jump into what looks to be like a very crowded field for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. King, who has been periodically visiting the early primary state of New Hampshire over the past few weeks, has long made it clear that he's interested in a presidential bid. But a tweet from WMUR's Josh McElveen suggests that he is doing more than mere mulling:
McElveen's WMUR colleague Kirk Enstrom lowers the temperature, but just a tad:
Speaking to WMUR's "CloseUP," King said he's in the early stages of a possible 2016 presidential run.
"I am considering a run for president," King said. "I've been pleasantly surprised by the response I've gotten by officials in New Hampshire. I've been invited to a number of events."
"I'll be coming back next week," he said. "I'll be back again in October. I'm putting a lot of effort into this."
As Time's Alex Rogers reported back in July, King's considerations apparently began at a dinner "at an Italian restaurant called Campagnola on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, with Chris Ruddy, editor-in-chief of Newsmax, and Vito Fossella, a former Republican congressman from New York."
King told TIME that Ruddy showed up unannounced. “I didn’t even know he was going to be there,” King remembered. “And he said he’d been hearing from a number of people that someone like me could bring together the national security Republicans and the old Reagan Democrats and that I should consider a run. And he said, ‘You mind if I do a story?’ And I said, ‘On what?’ And I didn’t hear from him until I guess last Friday [July 12].”
(Rogers provides a lot of details about what everyone ate, if you are into that.)
King is well-known for being a national security hawk, a brand he burnished over the weekend when he complained to Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace about President Barack Obama's decision to seek Congressional approval of military strikes in Syria. "The president as commander-in-chief has absolute constitutional and statutory power to take military action," insisted King, "If he says this issue, as important as it is and sending so many mixed signals over the last year and certainly over the last 10 days, this is a clear failure of leadership. If you feel so strongly about it and if you also don't want to take action himself, then he should call us back into session tomorrow."
This, naturally, sets up King as an antagonist to presumed-2016 aspirant Rand Paul, who has contended against military intervention in Syria. And, if you're marking up your 2016 hot-conflict scorecard, you should note that King has little love for potential-2016er Marco Rubio, against whom King has nursed a grudge over the Florida senator's "no" vote on Hurricane Sandy relief.
Elsewhere, in 2016 news, one-time GOP contender and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is back to "informally chatting" about another presidential run in 2016. As Katie Glueck reports in Politico:
Huckabee was initially speaking with POLITICO more broadly about the 2016 election before interjecting, “I haven’t ruled it out.”
“At this point, I’m trying to ascertain, what’s the opportunity, what’s the field, where the names are,” he said, adding that a run “may not be a possibility.”
Back in 2012, Huckabee chatted and chatted and chatted about running, and had a whole "campaign in waiting" set up for him, courtesy of GOP strategist Ed Rollins. In the end, however, Huckabee decided to continue on with his eponymous Fox News show. Rollins ended up, briefly, managing Michele Bachmann's 2016 campaign. Huckabee pretty much had the better half of that whole deal.
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