CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – Former New York Gov. George Pataki is the latest Republican to get into the race for president.
In a video posted Thursday morning on YouTube, Pataki says America needs to recapture the spirit of unity that spread through the country in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He was in his second of three terms as governor when the attacks struck New York and Washington, and Pataki highlights his role in New York and the country’s recovery in the video.
“If we are to flourish as a people, we have to fall in love with America again,” Pataki says in the video, which includes a logo that reads, “Pataki for President.”
Pataki is expected to formally announce his candidacy later Thursday. He’s scheduled to speak in Exeter, New Hampshire, which served as the state capital during the Revolutionary War and claims to be the birthplace of the Republican Party.
After flirting with the idea of a White House run in both 2008 and 2012, Pataki starts the 2016 campaign as a longshot in a crowded Republican field that includes several current and former governors, sitting senators, business leaders and a renowned neurosurgeon.
Pataki has cited his electoral success in a heavily Democratic state – he knocked off liberal icon Mario Cuomo to become governor in 1994 – and ability to work with Democrats as among his strengths. But he’s spent recent months promoting his conservative credentials, as those running for the Republican nomination invariably do.
In an earlier trip to New Hampshire, he campaigned against President Barack Obama’s health care law, criticized Obama’s executive order to offer protections against deportation to millions of immigrants living in the country illegally, and said the nation can’t afford another Democratic president. He also has called for less government spending and limiting government power.
“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,” Pataki said in New Hampshire earlier this year. “The need to reform Washington dramatically and reduce its power and influence has never been greater.”
Pataki, 69, has worked as a lawyer and opened a consulting firm since leaving office in 2006. He’s been a frequent visitor to the early nominating states of Iowa and New Hampshire over the years, and has made more than half a dozen trips to New Hampshire this year alone as he explored a 2016 campaign. His earlier efforts never resulted in a full-fledged campaign, however.