Add another name to the muddied field of Republicans casually mulling presidential runs: Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said Thursday he “would consider” tossing his hat into the ring if his longtime friend, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, declined to.
Nassau County GOP Chairman Joe Mondello “put my name forward” earlier this month, King said on Fox News. “I said I would consider it; I’m not taking my name back. Obviously, if Rudy jumps in, I would support him, but if not, you know, I’ll see what happens. Stranger things have happened.”
King made news earlier this week when he told reporters that Giuliani, once the front-runner of the 2008 Republican presidential primary, was leaning toward another bid despite widespread speculation that he won’t run. He reiterated that sentiment Thursday: “Right now, he’s very close to running,” King said. “That final step is always a tough one to make—it affects your personal and professional life.”
If Giuliani makes the presidential leap of faith, King said, he would focus on the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire, rather than reprising his Florida-centric strategy from four years ago. “The main problem last time was that nobody let Rudy be Rudy,” King said, postulating that despite Giuliani’s moderate platform, “you want a tough guy to make the tough decisions, and I think that would appeal across the board and to tea party members.”
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