WASHINGTON - After becoming one of the most outspoken critics of the White House over the attempted terrorist attack on Christmas Day, Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) Thursday offered his support to President Barack Obama.
"The president has acted," King said following Obama's speech taking responsibility for security mistakes and ordering intelligence improvements.
"Whatever has happened before," he said, "it is important that we all go forward together to resolve the disconnects in the intelligence community."
As the ranking GOP member of the House Homeland Security Committee, King added, "I will cooperate to the fullest extent possible."
King's comments, perhaps prompted by Obama's call to put citizenship over partisanship, contrasted sharply with the shots he took at Obama on many national TV news shows in the wake of the bungled bombing. King even complained Obama doesn't use the word "terror" enough.
His reaction also ran counter to harsher remarks Thursday by other GOP leaders, including House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), who questioned whether Obama has a "pre-9/11 mentality."
King issued his statement from Tampa, Fla., where he was getting a briefing from Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command. King and Petraeus watched Obama's speech together, an aide said.
In the coming days and weeks, King will have an opportunity to return to attack mode.
On Saturday he will deliver the Republican response to Obama's weekly address. And on Jan. 27 the Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on the bombing attemptMeanwhile, the four Democratic members of Congress from Long Island and both U.S. senators from New York lauded Obama for his actions.