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King downplays idea South Carolina trip a hint at 2016

(Radio Iowa) – Republican Congressman Steve King on said Saturday he hadn’t anticipated his upcoming trip to South Carolina might spur some to suggest he’s considering a run for president.

“I hadn’t really thought about what would happen if I set foot in a place like South Carolina, but that’s been an invitation that’s been long-standing for some time,” King said Saturday during an interview with Radio Iowa.

South Carolina’s “First in the South” Primary is a key opening event in the presidential selection process, but King said he’s not “seriously” considering a run for president in 2016.

“I can’t say yes to that…Neither am I really working to strategize that,” King said. “I just think it’s important to carry a message and help select the planks for the next platform for the next president of the United States.”

In late August King will speak at the “Charleston Meeting” — a private gathering of some of the country’s most influential conservatives. King joked Saturday that his role as chairman of the Conservative Opportunity Society in the U.S. House has taught him a valuable lesson that may ease his entry into South Carolina politics: he’s learned to eat grits.

“I learned a few years ago that if you’re going to have conservatives show up for breakfast, you must feed them grits. I’m not taking any chances so I cook the grits once in a while for my grandkids so that they grow up right, too,” King told Radio Iowa. “…I’ll eat grits in South Carolina. I sure will.”

King said he made “a lot of good friends” in South Carolina when he was there for a presidential candidate forum in 2011.

“This country we have — the network of good people doing good things,” King said. “I have an opportunity to encourage more good things.”

King also plans to speak to the 2500 cadets at The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina during his visit to the state August