Rep. Peter King Mulling 2016 White House Bid

NEW YORK -

Saying he is disturbed at the rightward tilt of the national Republican party, Rep. Peter King confirmed he is considering running for president in 2016 to pull the party into the mainstream.

The Long Island Republican, widely respected for focusing on the radicalization of American Muslims from his perch as chairman of the Homeland Security committee, said the positions of Rand Paul from Kentucky and Ted Cruz from Texas, both tea party Republican senators, have caused supporters to ask him to consider a run.

“It’s certainly something that I’m going to look at,” King told Politicker on Thursday. “It’s an opportunity to speak out on national security and defense issues.”

“It bothers me,” he added. “Rand Raul is talking about running for president — doing filibusters on drones. The image of the Republican Party is that we’re more concerned about Americans being killed by CIA attacks at Starbucks. We’re more serious than that.”

According to Newsmax, a conservative news site who first reported the story, King has a base of wealthy donors, both in New York and across the country, due to his strong stance on terrorism.

“I think it would be a great thing if Peter King ran for president,” said Michael Mukasey, the attorney general in George W. Bush’s administration. “At a time when terrorism poses a greater danger than ever to our country, Peter has a terrific background in this area.”