Rep. Steve King Undecided on Senate Run; Takes Swipe at Karl Rove

(SIOUX CITY, IA) Iowa Rep. Steve King told Siouxland News he's getting closer to deciding whether he'll run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Tom Harkin in 2014.

Before a ceremony awarding medals to a Vietnam veteran, an audience member asked King if he was running for the Senate. King replied that he was definitely going to be on the ballot -- but didn't know whether it would be for the House or Senate.

King said he is taking his time planning what's next and building support.

"We have gone out statewide and done a statewide poll. Then we sat down and did a strategy session last night. We had a conference call to receive more data about the questions that were asked during the strategy session. If the gut coincides with the brain, and the heart coincides, then it's all a yes," King said.

King also took a swipe at GOP consultant Karl Rove, whose new Conservative Victory Project aims to dissuade or defeat Republican candidates who could win a primary, then lose in the general election.

In February, Steven J. Law, the president of Rove's Crossroads GPS "super PAC" told the New York Times Rove was concerned about King's "Todd Akin problem," and his "candidate discipline."

On Thursday, King fired back using similar language, saying Rove "now understands that he needs to have a little more verbal discipline."

Referring to the conservative criticism of Rove that followed the Conservative Victory Project announcement, King appeared to be ready to move on, adding "I don't know anybody in the country that defended Karl Rove. I do know many who were critical of him, but essentially that issue has drifted away, behind the rear view mirror now, where it needs to stay."

King acknowledged other republicans in Iowa are waiting to see if he will run for Senate before they decide whether to enter the race.

Dr. David Wiltse, Political Science Professor at Briar Cliff University, pointed out the difference between Democrat Bruce Braley's decision to get in quick and King's drawn-out process.

"Clearly Braley saw an opportunity or advantage of announcing early and possibly that's for building this financial constituency and really establishing himself in the other corners of the state," said Wiltse. "Maybe King thinks he can do that more behind the scenes at this point and he doesn't need that kind of declaration."

Braley traveled to King's district this week, after revealing he's raised more than $1 million since Harkin's retirement announcement.