Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., "can't stand" Sen. Ted Cruz, so he hopes Donald Trump wins the state's upcoming Republican primary.

"Any New Yorker who even thinks of voting for Ted Cruz should have their head examined," King said on a local radio interview, first noticed by Buzzfeed. "I would love to see, if nothing else, Trump over Cruz here in New York, so that [Ohio Gov. John] Kasich — to me, the best debate is between Kasich and Trump."

King considered running for president as a foil to the foreign policy views of libertarian-leaning Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and has never made a secret of his dislike for Cruz. With Cruz now the leading alternative to Trump, the veteran House Republican uncorked a biting personal critique of the GOP presidential hopeful, whom he portrayed as a "phony" and a too-outspoken evangelical.

That's a departure from King's position of last month. "As much as I don't like Ted Cruz, I would take him over Trump," he told Bloomberg the day before the Florida GOP primary eliminated Sen. Marco Rubio, King's original favorite, from the race.

King was particularly incensed by Cruz's comments about "New York values" during the Iowa caucuses, an allusion to Trump's history of holding socially-liberal positions. "To have some guy like Ted Cruz with cowboy boots walk around criticizing [us]," King said Thursday. "Send him back where he belongs . . . I just can't stand that guy."

That reinforces a critique offered of late by Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, who hopes to emerge from a contested convention as the party nominee. But Kasich has floundered in the primaries outside of his home state, in part because he alienated conservatives in the early races by expanding Medicaid under Obamacare and invoking Saint Peter to justify the decision.

King says he likes Kasich. "To me, the best debate is between Kasich and Trump," he said. "Not between Cruz with that smooth talking, how he loves everyone and is going to wear the armor of God as he goes into battle and all that. Come on. Give me a break."