George Pataki at a GOP leadership conference in Nashua, N.H., last month. (Photo: Brian Snyder/Reuters)
Former New York Gov. George Pataki joined the already crowded field for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination on Thursday, announcing his White House bid in an online video.
“America has a big decision to make about who we’re going to be and what we’re going to stand for,” Pataki says at the beginning of the four-minute video highlighting his leadership as governor following 9/11.
“We have always understood that we have a common background and a common destiny, and when we stand together, we can accomplish anything. I saw that on the streets of New York in the days and weeks after September 11.”
Pataki painted himself as a small-government champion.
“Washington has grown too big, too powerful, too expensive and too intrusive,” he says.
The 69-year-old, who served three terms as governor beginning in 1994, has not held elected office since 2007. But Pataki has long flirted with the idea of running for president.
“I make a joke that every four years there’s the Olympics, there’s the World Cup and I come to New Hampshire thinking about running for president,” Pataki said in a speech to a small crowd at a Sea-Doo and snowmobile dealership in Laconia, N.H., last month, according to the Washington Post.
He is scheduled to speak in Exeter, N.H., later Thursday.
Earlier this week, Pataki told the New York Post he realizes his chances are slim.
“It will be a very stiff climb up a very steep mountain, but that hasn’t stopped me in the past,” Pataki told the paper.
In 1994, Pataki upset three-term Democratic incumbent Gov. Mario Cuomo to become New York governor — a surprise win in the often liberal voting state.