WASHINGTON -- Rep. Peter King attacked Sen. Marco Rubio and other Republican presidential hopefuls on Thursday for having the nerve to come to New York to raise campaign money after voting against the Sandy Relief Act.
"Any senator or any congressman who voted against Sandy aid should not get a nickel from New York," said King, a veteran Seaford congressman, after sending an email to his backers saying he was outraged by the gall of Rubio and others.
"It's bad enough that potential Republican presidential candidates voted against Hurricane Sandy aid, that's inexcusable enough," King wrote in the email. "But to have the balls to come in and say, 'We screwed you now make us president?' "
King said he was reacting to a report Thursday of recent or upcoming fundraising visits to New York by Rubio of Florida, as well as Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the former GOP vice-presidential candidate -- all of whom voted no on Sandy aid.
Those lawmakers didn't answer requests for comment.
The email echoed King's angry threat after House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) canceled a New Year's Day vote on $60.2 billion in Sandy aid. At the time, King called it a "cruel knife in the back" and said anyone who gave money to GOP candidates "should have their head examined."
Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) ended up holding votes in which the Sandy aid passed, and King said Thursday he holds nothing against them.
King said he's worried about his party's growing "anti-Northeast" attitude. He pointed out that the Conservative Political Action Conference failed to invite New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to join other potential presidential hopefuls to speak at a meeting this month. .
King said he hasn't forgotten that most of his party voted no on the aid. "There has to be consequences for this stuff," he said, noting that he voted against two bills sponsored by Republicans who voted against the aid bill.
Langone said he called and told GOP lawmakers the consequences of their no votes. After so many of them voted against the aid, and the "terrible job" they did in November losing the White House and seats in Congress, "I told those guys, 'My wallet is shut,' " Langone said. "By the way, I'm speaking for a lot of other Republicans," he added.