Former New York Governor George Pataki Announces Run for White House in 2016

By on May 28, 2015
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Former New York Governor George Pataki Announces Run for White House in 2016

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New York State’s former governor George Pataki, who has won that seat three times in heavily Democratic state, is running for President in 2016.

 

“My vision was not a partisan vision. It was a vision about people, about what we could accomplish together,” Pataki said as he narrated a four-minute announcement video released Thursday morning. “If we are to flourish as a people, we have to fall in love with America again.”

 

Although he has served as governor of what was then the nation’s third largest state, Pataki is perhaps the longest of long shots of GOP candidate hopefuls. He barely shows up in national opinion polls of the Republican field.

 

Unfortunately, no prominent elected officials or donors have stepped forward to show support for his bid in a field that many top Republicans tout as one of the most competitive they have ever seen.

 

Given all these circumstances, it is unlikely that Pataki will make the first Republican debate, which will be limited to the top 10 Republican hopefuls. That could stifle any efforts to increase his name identification among next year’s voters.

 

Former governor Pataki held his first campaign event Thursday morning in the small New Hampshire town of Exeter, which claims to be the birthplace of the Republican Party. New Hampshire tends to support more moderate Republicans, cut from the same cloth as Pataki, who supports conservation, same-sex marriage and gun control.

 

Even before he formally announced his candidacy, Pataki chose to air a television advertisement that scrutinized his party for focusing on social issues that he deemed a “distraction.”

 

“Defeating Islamic terrorists, shrinking government, growing the economy — these are the issues that matter most,” Pataki says in the advertisement that began in mid-April. “Instead we’re debating social issues like abortion and gay rights.”

 

Pataki has also shown himself in the early stages to be one of the more controversial presidential aspirants. The former governor said on CNN’s “New Day” last week that the United States should deploy troops back to Iraq to fight growing Islamist threats, a position not expressed by his colleagues in the fray.

 

“I don’t want to see us putting in a million soldiers, spend 10 years, a trillion dollars, trying to create a democracy where one hasn’t existed,” Pataki said. “But send in troops, destroy their training centers, destroy their recruitment centers, destroy the area where they are looking to plan to attack us here and then get out.”

 

A lawyer by trade, Pataki rose from being the mayor of the Westchester County town of Peekskill through the New York state legislature. In the fall of 1994, Pataki ousted liberal darling Mario Cuomo to become New York’s first Republican governor in two decades.

That upset victory, Pataki said, fuels his rejection of criticism by the same insiders who say he has virtually no chance to win the GOP nomination this cycle.

 

“They told me that when I ran for governor of New York. They said I couldn’t win,” he told the Exeter crowd. “They were right they couldn’t do it. But I knew I could, and we did.”