Pataki ponders presidential run

July 15, 2011

By Ben Birnbaum-The Washington Times

Former New York Gov. George E. Pataki said Thursday he is concerned about the electability of the current GOP presidential field, as he prepares to visit Iowa next week before deciding whether to make a late entry into the race.

“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,” Mr. Pataki said. “It’s wonderful to make a philosophical statement, but our country is at the point where we need a real change in direction and that’s what it comes down to.”

Referring to his three gubernatorial wins in strongly Democratic New York, he said, “I look back with pride on my ability to get conservatives, Republicans, independents and enlightened Democrats to vote for me.”

The 66-year-old Mr. Pataki, who flirted with a 2008 White House bid, said he was disappointed that Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels had chosen not to run. He declined repeatedly to reveal his own plans but acknowledged he could not wait forever.

“I don’t have a deadline, but obviously there isn’t a great deal of additional time,” he said. “My family and I are doing a personal assessment as to the best way to change this country for the better, and we’ll make that decision sometime in the near future.

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