Peter King: '50-50' odds he'll run in 2016

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said Wednesday the odds are "50-50" that he will enter the 2016 presidential race.

"I'm certainly not ruling it out," King said during an appearance on CNN's "Wolf." "Right now I'm sort of 50-50."

King said he intended to make his decision by the end of June.

The hawkish Republican also said he would be undeterred by a potential bid from fellow New Yorker George Pataki, the former GOP governor, who is also weighing a run.


King has sparred with both the Obama administration and members of his own party, in particular presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), on issues such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and controversial U.S. surveillance practices.

Should he enter the field, King would likely compete with Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), who has declared his bid, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), who is expected to announce on June 1, for the support of national security hawks.

King praised Graham when asked about the senator's call for 10,000 troops to defeat ISIS, telling CNN that the South Carolina lawmaker is "generally on target" on foreign policy.

Explaining his own position, King said the U.S. should embed more ground troops with Iraqi forces to providing training and coordination against ISIS.  

"Once we left, the Iraqis lost their adult supervision," he said, criticizing the U.S. military drawdown after the Iraq War.

Pataki, his potential home-state rival, earlier Wednesday also argued for U.S. ground troops to fight Islamic militants in the Middle East.