New York Rep. Peter King tells NBC 4 New York he is considering running for president in 2016.
The Queens-raised Republican congressman is in his 11th term in the House, where he represents part of Long Island, and is member of the Homeland Security Committee.
He has appeared as a television pundit on national security and counterterror, and attracted national attention in 2011 when, as chairman of the committee, he held hearings on the “radicalization” of American Muslims.
King told NBC 4 New York Thursday that he was approached by “a number of Republicans” several weeks ago who asked him to think about running “because they saw no one out there right now talking about national defense or counterterrorism in the presidential field.”
King took a shot at another potential GOP contender, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who suggested during a March filibuster to protest President Obama’s nominee to head the CIA that Americans could be killed by drones while at home or in a restaurant.
“Instead we have people like Rand Paul talking about drones killing Americans drinking coffee at Starbucks, which to me is a ridiculous debate to be having,” King said.
Rand’s office declined comment.
The congressman said he has no campaign structure or plan yet, but envisions reaching out to traditionally Democratic strongholds like firefighter and police unions.
Before he was elected to Congress, King served as comptroller of Nassau County, and served as a local town councilman on Long Island.
He is also an avid boxing fan who agreed to fight a kickboxing champion to raise money for a friend earlier this year.
This story was originally posted on NBCNews.com