CONCORD, N.H. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Former New York State Gov. George Pataki said in interviews released Monday that he is “seriously considering” a presidential run.
Speaking to the Boston Globe, Pataki said he is considering running in the Republican presidential primary, and wrapped up two days’ worth of meetings with Republican activists in New Hampshire on Monday.
He told the Globe’s James Pindell that he advised the activists that he “successfully ran one of the largest and most complicated governments in the country — and in a blue state.”
Pataki echoed his comments in an interview with the Associated Press. He said the nation can’t risk electing another Democratic president.
“That’s one of the reasons I think the outcome of this election is so important, and I’m so much more inclined to get involved,” Pataki said in an interview with The Associated Press.
While in New Hampshire, Pataki criticized a number of President Barack Obama’s policies, including his recent executive order on immigration that offered protections against deportation to millions of immigrants living in the country illegally.
Pataki said he supports the efforts of House Republicans to dismantle that action.
“We’ve seen an explosion in government power from Washington and the government is far too big, far too powerful, far too expensive and far too intrusive, and the need to reform Washington dramatically and reduce its power and influence has never been greater,” Pataki said.
Pataki, who tweeted Monday that he did more than two dozen events while in the state and pledged to return soon, said he was in the process of building a campaign team and starting a fundraising operation. He declined to answer questions about the specifics of his political operation, and downplayed the importance of raising money at this point in the race.
“Everybody says how important money is, but I think energy and ideas are more important,” Pataki said. “You need enough to get your message out there, but beyond that, if people have 10 times as much (money), I don’t care so long as we’re able to communicate effectively.”
Pataki said he has not determined when he will make a decision whether to run.
Pataki served three terms as governor of New York from 1995 through 2006. He was a first-term state senator from Westchester County when he ran against and defeated the late Gov. Mario Cuomo in 1994 – boasting an endorsement by Howard Stern.
He was speculated as a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2012, but decided not to run in the primary.
Should he run for president in 2016, Pataki could find himself at odds with some Republican voters over his record on environmental policy in New York, where he floated the idea for a now-in-place regional effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Pataki said Monday he believes climate change is best tackled through private and market-based initiatives and he does not support new federal regulations aimed at reducing carbon emissions.
“I think it’s wrong to ignore environmental and conservation issues, I think it’s an important part of the federal government’s role,” Pataki said. “But I think it’s even worse if the federal government uses that as an excuse to raise revenue, shut down businesses, cut off innovation and pick winners and losers.”
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