Former New York Gov. George Pataki jumped into the race today for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.
Pataki made his announcement in Exeter, N.H., as “birthplace of the Republican Party, Abraham Lincoln’s party, who saved the Union and who brought the promise of freedom to all Americans, Teddy Roosevelt’s party, who fought for the Square Deal so that the rich and powerful couldn’t limit the freedom of working Americans, and Ronald Reagan’s party, who restored Americans’ belief in ourselves and in the transcendent value of freedom, the freedom that has given us the greatest country the world has ever known, the freedom that a man named Amos Tuck declared the foundation of that party right here in Exeter, New Hampshire, the same freedom that I fear is at risk today from an ever more powerful, more intrusive government in Washington.”
“It is to preserve and protect that freedom for future generations that I speak. It is to preserve and protect that freedom that this morning, I announce I am a candidate for the Republican nomination for president of the United States,” he said.
The location of his announcement was notable as an early primary state that tends to favor more moderate candidates. The governor’s 99-year-old mother watched the announcement from home on C-SPAN, he noted.
“Today, there’s one former member of Congress lobbying for every current member, and the first thing I would do is say that if you ever serve one day in Congress, you will never be a lobbyist. There will be a lifetime ban on members of Congress ever becoming a lobbyist,” he vowed, detailing his platform.
“I’d repeal oppressive laws like Obamacare and end Common Core. I’d eliminate excessive taxes that crush small business. I’d throw out an incomprehensible tax code written by lawyers at the direction of lobbyists in the interests of the powerful and replace it with simpler, lower rates that are fair for all of us. I’d lower taxes on manufacturers to the lowest in the developed world so that factories and jobs could spring up across America. And I’d shrink the size of the federal workforce, starting with the bureaucrats overseeing Obamacare, and I’d fire every current IRS employee abusing government power to discriminate on the basis of politics or religion. That is not America.”
Pataki quipped that it “seems like liberals have so much compassion for the poor that they keep creating more of them.”
“Conservative policies replaced dependency with opportunity in New York State. I know we can do the same thing for the United States,” he said.
As governor on 9/11, he added, “I saw up close the horrible consequences of too many believing that because radical Islam was thousands of miles away, across an ocean that we were safe in America. Sadly, it wasn’t true then, and it’s not true now.”
“Today, those in the other party, instead of offering ideas, seek to divide. When you have no solutions, instead you offer fear,” Pataki said. “They say we are anti-immigrant; we, the proud children and grandchildren and descendants of immigrants, we know that immigration has and will continue to enhance the greatness of this country.”