Rep. Peter King: Panetta Instills GOP Confidence

Thursday, 28 Apr 2011 10:21 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King commends proposed new changes in President Barack Obama’s national security team, and says making Leon Panetta Defense Department chief will be welcomed by congressional Republicans.

king, panetta, confidenceKing also said Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” he has great personal respect for Panetta and CIA head nominee Gen. David Petraeus.

“I think they are two outstanding government officials, they are dedicated, patriotic people,” said King, R-N.Y. “I can tell you that being on the Intelligence Committee, as well as the Homeland Security Committee, Leon Panetta inspires tremendous confidence — not just among Democrats — probably even more so among Republicans. As far as Gen. Petraeus, he did an outstanding job in Iraq — I have great regard for his ability.”

King was asked whether the nominations signal that Obama’s foreign policy is moving in a new direction.

“I assume that Leon Panetta will follow in what Bob Gates was doing at the Defense Department — he is going to be, I believe, a non-political manager at the Defense Department,” King said. “He will provide a very steady hand, and he will be a very good representative for the administration on Capitol Hill — and I believe he’ll work very well with Republicans.”

Host Joe Scarborough then asked King about recent reports that London was central to al-Qaida recruitment.

“London has become a real source of dangerous operations — parts of London are known as ‘Londinstan’ — we have a real serious radicalization problem and concern in London,” King replied, adding that the good news is that in America “it’s no where near the same as what it is in London.”

“Because in England, there is very little assimilation — as far as I know from talking to British officials — by Muslims into the overall British community,” he added. “There’s much more of a discontent among large numbers of the Muslim community.”

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