Rep. Peter King: Rand Paul’s ‘madness’ destroying GOP brand on security

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said Sunday that the libertarian wing of the Republican party is damaging the GOP's reputation on national security.

King criticized Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a potential 2016 presidential candidate, for supporting Edward Snowden, who leaked information about the National Security Agency's extensive domestic surveillance programs.

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"When you have Rand Paul actually comparing Snowden to Martin Luther King or Henry David Thoreau, this is madness," King said. 

"This is the anti-war, left-wing Democrats of the 1960s that nominated George McGovern and destroyed their party for almost 20 years. I don't want that to happen to our party."

King, appearing on CNN's "State of the Union," said Republicans are at risk of losing a hard-won reputation as a party that is strong on foreign policy and national security.

He also criticized the 94 House Republicans who voted for an amendment, sponsored by Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), that would have defunded the NSA's domestic surveillance programs, which collect information metadata about phone calls.

"I thought it was absolutely disgraceful that so many Republicans voted to defund the NSA program which has done so much to protect our county," King said. "This is an isolationist streak that's in our party that goes totally against the party of Eisenhower and Reagan and Bush."

King also broke with Republicans who want to shut down the federal government unless Congress defunds the implementation of ObamaCare.

"We should not be closing down the government under any circumstances. That doesn't work; it’s wrong," King said. 

"And ObamaCare passed. We have to try to defund it, we have to try to find ways to repeal it,” he added.” The fact is, we shouldn't be using it as a threat to shut down the government."