May 5, 2015 4:47 PM
NH1 Political Director - NH1.com
HENNIKER – George Pataki was back in New Hampshire Tuesday for this ninth visit since last autumn.
When he returns a tenth time later this month, the former three-term New York governor will most likely announce his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
“I think this is a critical moment in American history where we need the right leadership to change the direction in Washington. I know I have the ability to provide that leadership if I choose to run. So sooner rather than later and if I were to bet, I’d bet that I will be in the race,” Pataki said in a one-on-one interview with NH1 News.
Pataki later added that when he returns to the Granite State later this month, he’ll announce his decision on a White House run.
Pataki’s flirted before with presidential bids. But this time he seems much more serious. In the past five weeks, Pataki took three concrete steps towards launching a presidential campaign. He announced the initial members of a New Hampshire Steering Committee for his political action committee. Pataki also opened up office space in Manchester for We the People, not Washington, the PAC he set up as he explores a presidential bid.
Last month, through his PAC, he also went up on TV in New Hampshire with a paid 30-second commercial that appeared to criticize Pataki’s possible rivals for the GOP nomination, saying that a focus on social issues instead of the economy and national security, will only help elect Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to the White House.
Asked if he’ll run more TV ads in the first-in-the-nation primary state, Pataki said “assuming we’re in, we do expect that there will be additional ads run here in New Hampshire.”
Pataki also joked about his height, saying that “I think I have Jeb (Bush) by about an inch and a half. In fact somebody once asked me what set you apart from everybody else and I said I’m taller than any of them.
Pataki spoke with NH1 News minutes before addressing and taking questions from an audience of students, faculty, and local residents at New England College in Henniker.
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