Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) downplayed on Friday the chances of him actually mounting a campaign for president in 2012.
King, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said he's focused on winning reelection, and that he wouldn't visit Iowa or New Hampshire — traditional stomping grounds for would-be presidential candidates — unless it's to campaign for others.
"My focus is on getting reelected to Congress," King said on MSNBC. "I'm not going to Iowa, I'm not going to New Hampshire — we'll see what happens."
King wouldn't rule out running, but he certainly didn't sound like a candidate. The buzz surrounding the longtime congressman's possible candidacy came after the chairman of the local Nassau County GOP proclaimed his desire to see King run for president.
King supported former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's (R) presidential campaign in 2008, and has said that he thinks New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would make for Republicans' best nominee in 2012. Christie has refused to run.
The only reason for a visit to Iowa or New Hampshire would be to stump for either Giuliani or Christie, King said.
But the New York Republican wasn't quite Shermanesque in ruling out the possibility of running, making it seem as though he could be drawn into the race if enough popular acclaim were to arise within the GOP.
"Let's face it, the odds are very much against it," he said. "But if something's out there, I won't stand in the way."