Republican strategist John Feehery called Rep. Pete King a "needed voice" for the GOP and the country after the New York congressman lashed out at Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.
Feehery, the president of QGA Public Affairs, noted in a commentary for The Hill
that the former Homeland Security Committee chairman had paid a visit to early primary state New Hampshire for the sixth time over the weekend and may have presidential aspirations.
"Can a street corner conservative like King make a real play for the White House?" wrote Feehery. "Is that why he is spending so much of his weekends in New Hampshire and television studios? King sees an opening, especially if [Gov.] Chris Christie’s troubles in New Jersey prove to be insurmountable.
"And besides, to Pete King, somebody has to stand up to the bullies who would shut the government down, scale back America’s national defense and call off our pursuit of terrorists."
Feehery, who was a spokesman for former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and a communications director for former Majority Whip Tom DeLay, was referring to Cruz, a tea party leader, and Paul, a Libertarian conservative.
Earlier this month, King called the Texas senator "a total nihilist"
for orchestrating the government shutdown last year, and Rand an isolationist for his views on U.S. defense policy.
"Unlike Cruz and Paul, King comes from a blue state and a majority Democratic district, where he has been able to routinely win close to 60 percent of the vote," wrote Feehery. "It might be easy for the Canadian transplant to preach to the choir, but for King, he has to get converts in every election.
"I suppose that is why King is so disgusted with Cruz, whom he calls a fraud. Shutting the government down might lead to cheers in Dallas, but on Long Island, it gets you the worst kind of Bronx jeer."
Feehery, who writes his own conservative blog at the thefeeherytheory.com,
added, "Ted Cruz is an elitist who somehow has been able to portray himself as a champion of the masses, while the son of a New York cop who worked full time loading and unloading freight cars and was a member of blue-collar union is seen as a defender of the Republican establishment.
"Pete King might not necessarily be our next president, but he certainly would add a needed voice in the debate about the direction of our party and our country."
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