{mosads}According to CNN, King will attend the Charleston Meeting, a frequent gathering of conservative politicians and business leaders that has hosted previous presidential contenders, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who is widely thought to be preparing for a 2016 presidential run.

Lin Bennett, a vice chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, told CNN that the congressman is also planning a sit-down on Aug. 26 with local Republican leaders, a step that Bennett said is typically an indication of interest in a presidential run.

“When they call and ask me to do that, my thought is maybe they are thinking about a presidential run,” Bennett said.

King will meet with 20 activists in what Bennett described as “just an opportunity for some people to talk to him.”

He has not yet indicated whether he’s contemplating a 2016 presidential run, but he recently turned down a run for retiring Sen. Tom Harkin’s (D-Iowa) seat, a decision that some Republicans believe was a better one for the party’s chances.

The conservative Iowa congressman is one of the party’s most outspoken critics of bipartisan attempts to reform the nation’s immigration system, and has come under fire from GOP colleagues for controversial comments he’s made about reform provisions.

Most recently, he suggested that a proposal to give citizenship to children brought to the U.S. illegally was misguided because “for every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert,” according to Newsmax.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other Republicans condemned King’s comments, which come as the GOP is working to move forward on reform in hopes of making some inroads among Hispanic voters, who overwhelmingly voted Democratic in the last election.

King, however, gets much of his support from the socially conservative and evangelical blocs of the Republican Party, and would likely make an impact in the early primary contests in Iowa and South Carolina.

Tags Boehner John Boehner Rand Paul Tom Harkin

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