According to POLITICO’s Dan Hirschhorn, a New York television station is reporting that former New York Gov. George E. Pataki could enter the Republican presidential sweepstakes as early as next week.
Citing unnamed sources, NY1, a 24-hour cable news channel in New York City, reported that Pataki is very close to a decision.
Long overlooked in the increasingly crowded field of potential GOP presidential contenders, Pataki has been quietly fueling speculation about a possible presidential bid for months, repeatedly saying that he had gnawing concerns about the ability of several of those seeking the Republican nomination to defeat President Obama in 2012.
In a free-wheeling interview with the Fiscal Times in June, the 66-year-old Pataki said that he had yet to hear one of the Republican presidential candidates outline a strong, comprehensive approach to dealing with the country’s grave debt crisis. At the time, the former three-term governor said he was looking for a credible candidate, somebody not only capable of articulating a thoughtful deficit-reduction plan, but someone who also possesses the political skill to defeat President Obama in the general election.
“I think it’s very important not just that we choose a nominee who has the right vision, but choose a nominee who has the ability to win the election,” he told the Washington Times last month.
Pataki, who was initially elected governor of heavily-Democratic New York in 1994 when he defeated popular three-term Democratic Gov. Mario Cuomo — a race in which New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, another potential 2012 GOP presidential prospect, conspicuously endorsed Cuomo — has long flirted with the idea of running for national office and has made several trips to Iowa and New Hampshire this year. He currently heads “No American Debt,” a nonprofit organization that has been airing television ads in both of those early caucus and primary states.