Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said Republican primary voters would be “receptive” to his candidacy if he decides to run for president in 2016 ahead of his trip to the country’s first primary state.
King arrived in New Hampshire on Sunday after hinting at a White House bid earlier last month. He said he is planning two more trips to the state.
"If I do run, I intend to win,” King said in an interview with The Associated Press ahead of his trip. “But certainly, it's added incentive to prevent the isolationist wing of the party from taking over. Someone like Rand Paul has set the Republican Party back 50 years."
King last hit the presidential campaign trail in Iowa in 2008 to stump for then candidate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R), according to the AP.
While King insists he would mount a serious campaign if he runs, some have openly questioned his viability. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) jokingly asked if King was serious after hearing that he was mulling a bid.
Nonetheless, the former Homeland Security Committee chairman used a speech in the state to advocate for bolstering national defense.
"I would love if we never had to send one solider overseas, or if we never had to be involved in any country in the world. But we live in a dangerous world, and we don't have that luxury,” he said.