Congressman Peter King, the most prominent Irish American for decades in the House of Representatives, is considering a run for the White House, Newsmax magazine confirms.
He is currently co-chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Irish Affairs and has long been identified on Irish issues in the House.
King, a dedicated supporter of Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and the peace process is a former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.
He is being encouraged by friends and supporters to seek the GOP nomination. Among his backers is Mike Mukasey, former Attorney General under George Bush and Barry Goldwater Junior, former congressman and son of the Republican icon.
Some of his associates confirm to Newsmax that King is strongly considering a presidential run.
King who represents a Long Island district, turned 69 in April and has served in the House for 11 terms. His age is not expected to be a factor given that Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, two likely opponents for the Democratic nomination, are in his age range.
He is a very frequent guest on Fox News and other Republican leaning outlets and has a high profile among Republican primary voters. He has particular appeal as a Catholic cultural conservative.
"I saw Peter last week and he certainly didn't rule [a presidential run] out," said one source close to the Congressman "A lot of folks are telling him to do it and he sure acts interested."
"I think it would be a great thing if Peter King ran for president," Michael Mukasey, former federal judge and U.S. attorney general under George W. Bush, told Newsmax.
"At a time when terrorism poses a greater danger than ever to our country, Peter has a terrific background in this area and a superb background in legislative affairs," Mukasey said. "He’s a great leader, and I would applaud his running."
Former California Republican Rep. Barry Goldwater Jr.,also approved.
"We've fallen down in foreign policy and, under Bush and Obama, we've become too quick to march off to war without considering foreign cultures and religions first. Peter well understands this. He stands out in a crowd and says what's on his mind."
King supporters believe his blue collar Catholic persona could play very well, even in the south as he has a very solid pro life position and is a deep cultural conservative.
Catholics have only been on two GOP tickets, VP nominees Paul Ryan in 2012 and Rep William Miller in 1964.
"Peter can speak to and assemble the old Ronald Reagan Democrats — and he's a world-renowned expert on global terrorism and national defense," former Rep. Vito Fosella, a New York Republican told Newsmax. "He has broad appeal and that's why he keeps winning in the Northeast when other Republicans come and go."
The odds are high. Not since James A. Garfield in 1880 has a congressman run for president and won. Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul are among the latest to try and lose..
King supporters point to Barack Obama’s rise from obscure State Senator to White House in less than a decade.
Mark Kennedy, director of the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University said of a King presidential bid, "Any House member attempting a presidential run faces several obstacles: low name ID nationwide, a large database of recorded votes from which opponents can cherry-pick for negative advertising, and the overall unpopularity of the current Congress."
"But Congressman Peter King does have several assets that could help him in a possible run: impeccable cultural conservative credentials, expert knowledge of terrorism and homeland security, and an independent streak that could appeal to general election voters," Kennedy said.
King’s allies say they believe firmly he will jump in.
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore