Things are moving quickly for presidential Republican contenders. Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina have already announced they want the party’s nomination, and now George Pataki has thrown his name into the ring as well. Pataki hasn’t been talked about as much as some of his other competitors, so let’s take a look at what he's all about.
He’s a former Republican Governor of New York.
Pataki was elected Governor of New York three different times, allowing him to govern the state from 1995-2006. This means he was the governor during the terrorist attacks on September 11.
He has a wife and four kids.
Pataki has been married to his wife, Libby, for forty-one years. They have four kids: Emily, Teddy, Allison, and Owen. Pets are also a part of their family -- their dogs are named Bradley and Balto.
And he’s proud of those kids.
His daughter Allison is a novelist, his son Teddy was a former Marine officer in Iraq, and his son Owen is an army officer who just got back from Afghanistan.
He’s been interested in politics for a long time.
Pataki led the campus Conservative Party at his alma mater Yale, and after spending some time working as a lawyer, he became mayor of Peekskill, New York. Next he was a State Assemblyman and a State Senator.
He think marriage equality should be up to the states.
"My view is leave marriage to the states," he recently told CNN in regards to same-sex marriage. "There's no reason why New York and Texas have to have the same law. Marriage is a state issue and I believe that it should continue to be."
He’s against the Affordable Care Act.
Pataki made reforms to healthcare while governor of New York, but he’s against the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a Obamacare). “[I]n my lifetime I don’t think there’s been as big a law that has had as negative an impact,” he said about the Affordable Care Act. “It is wrong, I think it should be repealed, I think it’s unconstitutional.”
He’s Pro-Choice ... kind of.
Pataki has declared himself pro-choice, but he has a mixed record here. He’s been in favor of minors having to tell their parents if they want an abortion, and he’s also endorsed the idea of making some later-term abortions a felony, even if the woman would die without one.
But he thinks politicians need to stop obsessing over marriage equality and abortion rights.
"Defeating Islamic terrorists, shrinking government, growing the economy -- these are the issues that matter most," he said last month. "Instead we're debating social issues like abortion and gay rights."
He gets called a “Moderate,” but he doesn’t like that.
Because his social views tend to be more to the left than that of his competitors, he’s been called a moderate Republican. But Pataki bucks this term and calls himself a conservative.
The environment matters to him.
While in office at New York, Pataki did a number of things to help the environment. The Alliance to Save Energy (of which Pataki is a Founder and Chairman) says, “[Pataki] instituted the nation's green buildings tax credit incentive program which led to [building] the first high-rise green office building in the world, the first high-rise green residential building in the United States, and a host of other green projects currently under development. Most notably, through his determined leadership, Governor Pataki ensured that the redeveloped World Trade Center site will be a global example of green building design.”
He supports gun control.
While GOP candidates tend to be against gun control, Pataki spent his time as governor passing stricter gun laws. He banned assault rifles and made sure people buying guns had a background check first.
He has different thoughts on immigration than most Republicans.
He says that he believes in border control, but he does not want to send all undocumented immigrants out of America. "We're going to have to find a way to provide legalized status here," he said.
He’s never lost.
In politics, you win some and you lose some, but Pataki has an almost unheard of record of winning every time he’s run for something. Will it be true this time around?