Former Congressman Vito Fossella says he’s thrilled by the possibility of a 2016 presidential bid by Rep. Peter King of New York.
"It's fantastic. I've known Peter a lot of many years. He's an effective and very respected member of Congress representing his area, Long Island, for many, many years," Fossella, a New York Republican told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"He's also respected at the national level, particularly on issues of homeland security and defense, and he has been a very good voice for good fiscal policy as well. I know of others who have encouraged him to run and to throw his hat in the ring."
Fossella believes King, also a Republican, has been particularly effective on issues surrounding the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on New York City’s World Trade Center.
"He has been a strong voice, especially since 9/11, to ensure that the most important thing this country does is to protect its innocent people and to ensure another terrorist attack does not occur," he said.
Fossella also had high praise for New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who has been mentioned by President Barack Obama as the potential successor to Janet Napolitano as the nation’s next Homeland Security chief.
"New York City is the safest big city in the country. We've seen crime drop dramatically, which means that our streets and our communities are safer," he said.
"People are not afraid as they probably were 25 years ago to walk the streets of New York and businesses are not as afraid to come in . . . Just go to Times Square at midnight and you'll see the millions of folks throughout the year.
"In large part that's Ray Kelly and the great New York City Police Department . . . Perhaps at the federal level [there is] a lot to learn from Ray Kelly and what he's been able to do in New York City."
Asked about Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer, the ex-congressman and ex-governor of New York now running for mayor and comptroller, respectively, following sex-related scandals that forced them to quit, Fossella is forgiving.
"Everybody is entitled to a second chance. So they can throw their hat in the ring. Let the voters decide," said Fossella, who faced his own scandal in office when it was revealed he had a secret love child.
"Personally, I believe in the notion of redemption . . . It’s the candidates in the field who have to demonstrate to the voters that they’re the best person for the job.
"In the mayor’s race, I’m supporting [Manhattan supermarket mogul] John Catsimatidis. He’s a very successful businessman, never forgot where he came from, and will bring maintain fiscal sanity at City Hall."
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