Rep. Peter King on Saturday blasted a new resolution from the Republican National Committee concerning the National Security Agency, charging that the “hysterical” measure could be a “death warrant” for the GOP.
The RNC on Friday called the NSA surveillance program “unconstitutional” in a resolution, urging a “halt” of the efforts and “a full public accounting” of the data collection initiatives.
In an interview with POLITICO, King, a hawkish New York Republican, said the move pushed the party in an “isolationist” direction.
“We’re going to make the Democrats and Barack Obama the party of national security,” he said. “It’s signing our own death warrant as a party.”
King’s Long Island congressional district was deeply affected by the September 11 terrorist attacks, and he has long been a proponent of an aggressive approach to combating terrorism, even as voices more wary of intervention, like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), have grown more prominent within the GOP.
“Republicans are supposed to be the party of national defense,” King said. “It would be one thing if people wanted to pass legislation [posing] questions. But to talk about ‘spying’ and unconstitutionality … it’s basically repudiating the policies of the Republican Party over the last 12 years, policies that kept us safe.”
A spokeswoman for the RNC didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
King has indicated he is weighing what would be a long-shot presidential bid in part because he wants the 2016 Republican debates to include a more aggressive perspective on defense issues.