Nov 19, 2015 11:08 PM

Steinhauser: Pataki tells NH1 News 'I have thought' about ending White House run

NH1 Political Director -

CONCORD – George Pataki admits he’s considered calling it quits when it comes to his longshot bid for the Republican presidential nomination, but says encouragement keeps him going.

“You know I have thought about it,” Pataki said after asked Thursday by NH1 News if he’s considered ending his bid for the White House, as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal did earlier this week. “But I get encouraged all the time.”

“You know I’m not naive. I know what the national polls say. But when I come to New Hampshire, when I go to Iowa, when I go to South Carolina, people come up to me all the time and say ‘you have to stay in’,” Pataki said.

The former three-term New York State governor added that “the encouragement I get from people has overcome the doubts caused by the polling. So I’m in it, fight the fight. Not going to stop.”

Pataki’s hovering just under one percent in an average of the latest polls both nationally and in New Hampshire in the race for the GOP nomination. Pataki’s concentrating most of his campaigning in the first-in-the-nation primary state and is fighting Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Carly Fiorina for the title of spending the most time in the Granite State this year.

Pataki spoke with NH1 News and other reporters at the State House, minutes after filing to put his name on the primary ballot.

Pataki: ‘President has shown more outrage towards’ GOP than terrorists

Pataki pushed back against criticism this week by President Barack Obama towards Republicans who oppose the president’s plan to allow over the next year up to 10,000 refugees fleeing Syria’s bloody civil war.

The House of Representatives voted Thursday to put the brakes on the President’s plan. In the wake of last Friday’s deadly terrorist attacks in Paris, many Republican lawmakers and governors, joined by some Democrats, have vocally opposed allowing the refugees into the country.

Many of the lawmakers and governors point to the Paris attacks as proof that it’s too risky to provide a haven in the U.S. for those fleeing Syria’s bloody civil war. One of the attackers in Paris appeared to enter Europe posing as a Syrian refugee

“I am just very concerned that this president has shown more outrage towards Republicans who want an intelligent process to make sure only those who are going to live under our laws are allowed into this country than he has towards the terrorists who carried out the attack,” Pataki said.

Asked by NH1 News if he’s veto the bill, as President Obama has vowed, Pataki said “there’s no question in my mind that it’s a mistake for us to take in ten thousand Syrian refugees today when we are unable in my view to seriously vet the background of these refugees. What are we going to do. Are we going to go to Assad and ask him ‘hey, is this guy a bad guy?’ Are we going to talk to their neighbors. Are we going to talk to the DMV and ask if he’s had parking tickets that he’s ignored in Syria. I mean you just cannot do a background check that in my view will give us confidence in safety.”

Pataki also took a shot at Republican front runner Donald Trump and at Ohio Gov. John Kasich, another rival for the nomination.

“Donald Trump said he’s somewhat open to the idea of having Muslims having to have, have American Muslims have an ID card,” Pataki said.

“I think that’s another ridiculous suggestion. John Kasich says we should have a federal agency promoting Judeo-Christian values around the world. I am proud of my faith but I don’t think we need or want a federal agency doing that,” he added.


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