Rep. Peter King has decided not to seek the Republican presidential nomination, he said in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday.
The New York lawmaker who’s known for his focus on national security — and for criticizing his own party’s hard-liners in Congress — said he’s decided he can’t raise enough money or run effectively given his job in Congress.
“It’s just not in the cards. I don’t want to be taking up other people’s time,” King said. “I don’t want to have 19, 20 candidates, whatever it’s going to be.”
He also said his decision is based on the fact that candidates he opposes — specifically, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul — won’t be “monopolizing the airwaves.”
“They were getting out what they thought was their Republican message. I wanted to counter that. I think I’ve been somewhat successful in doing that,” he said.
King is on the House’s homeland security and intelligence panels. Some candidates, he said, are “raising national defense issues. So I’m not running.”
King said in an interview with CNN last year that he was considering a presidential campaign specifically to keep Cruz and Paul from winning the GOP’s nomination.
“I’m looking at this because I see people like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, and to me, I don’t want the Republican Party going in that direction,” he said then.