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« RNC Outraises DNC By $1M | Blog Home Page | The NY-23 Race Begins »

Pataki: Obama Wrong To Pressure Paterson

George Pataki said today that the White House pressuring Gov. David Paterson to not to run for re-election further undermines his ability to right New York's economy in challenging times, and he suggested President Obama's time was better served focusing on policy and not politics.

"I just think it's wrong," Pataki said when asked about reports that Obama aides are urging Paterson not to run for a full term in 2010. "New York state is facing very difficult times. We're going to have an extraordinarily difficult challenge in dealing with the state's financial situation. ... To weaken and undermine the governor beyond the weakness that already exists, at a time when he will be the governor for the next 15 months, to me just doesn't serve the interests of the state, doesn't serve the interests of our country."

Pataki, who served as New York's governor for 12 years, said on a conference call hosted by the RNC to rebut Obama's visit to the Albany area that any officeholder or potential candidate's decision to run is a personal one, and should be made not just based on the likelihood of winning, but because a person has the "ideas" and "vision" to lead.

"That's what this decision should be made on, not on poll numbers," said Pataki, who is a potential U.S. Senate candidate.

Asked if he was, indeed, considering a bid, Pataki said he's been flattered by people urging him to run for office again, but would not say what if any office he might seek. He also indicated a decision won't come soon.

"For better or worse people of this state know me pretty well. And so if I am going to make a decision at some point to again enter the elective arena, I can do it a lot further down the road than now," he said.

Asked about a potential run for governor by Rudy Giuliani, Pataki said he believes he is considering it and "if he were going to decide he were going to run it would be a formidable candidate." Rick Lazio, a former U.S. Senate candidate and Long Island congressman, is announcing his candidacy tomorrow.