One of seven former governors in the 2016 conversation, George Pataki is the only one who also was a delegate to the United Nations, a small town mayor and a state legislator. The New Yorker is the only Republican ever to beat Mario Cuomo. He worked as a lawyer, founded an environmental consulting firm and is on the verge of his first campaign since 2002. Here’s where George Pataki stands on ten key issues.
Climate change: Climate change is real. Combat it through private initiatives.
Pataki, who co-chaired the Council on Foreign Relation’s 2007 task force on the issue, believes climate change is a real and scientifically proven. In his opinion, it is best combated through private initiatives. The former governor turned environmental consultant opposes government regulation of emissions.
Education: End Common Core. Do not impose national standards on states.
Pataki told NH1 television that he opposes the state-initiated Common Core education standards and that he is also against any national education standards imposed on the states. The former governor argues that states should each be allowed to come up with their own standards, instead of having a broader model.
Guns: States should ban some assault weapons, enact ballistics fingerprinting and place other limits on gun use.
As New York governor, Pataki signed a gun law which banned some assault weapons, required a record of each gun’s ballistics, required trigger locks on new guns and raised the legal age of gun purchase from 18 to 21.
Marijuana: Let the states decide. Do not legalize nationally, for now.
Pataki is a strong state’s rights supporter when it comes to marijuana legalization. During an interview with Bloomberg News, Pataki said states like Colorado should be the testing ground to see if legalization works. In a radio interview last month, Pataki repeated his support for state-by-state legalization but said there should be tough regulations to ensure children cannot purchase marijuana or marijuana edibles.
NSA: Reauthorize the Patriot Act.
Pataki, who was governor of New York during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, says the National Security Agency should be allowed to continue to collect phone data of Americans to help combat terrorism. On May 20, Pataki tweeted, “@DrRandPaul let’s not forget lessons of 9/11, with ISIS openly recruiting online, letting the #PatriotAct go dark will make us less safe.” Pataki has long supported the PATRIOT Act, including the bulk collection of phone metadata by the NSA.
Obamacare: Repeal it. Pass an alternative.
Patakai vehemently opposes the Affordable Care Act, calling it “the worst law of my lifetime” in a television interview. In 2010, he created a non-profit, Revere America, dedicated to repealing the new health care law. (The group was active for the next year and has not posted new material since 2011.) Pataki believes Obamacare is unconstitutional, that it should be repealed and the federal government should pass a new, “market-based” health care law.
Social Issues: Block late-term abortions and government funding of abortions but otherwise do not tightly restrict access. Leave the definition of marriage to states.
Defining himself as “pro-choice”, the New York Republican has spoken out against late term abortions and voted against government-funded abortions as a state legislator, but he otherwise opposes restrictions on abortion access for women. On same-sex marriage, Pataki believes the issue should be left up to the states. Pataki’s personal position on gay marriage currently is unclear. As governor, he did not support gay marriage and has never publically changed his stance.
Taxes and the IRS: Cut taxes. Rewrite the federal tax code
Pataki brandishes his tax-cutting credentials, with his website biography stating that while he was governor, “19 different taxes were cut 90 times.” During this year’s Ag Summit in Iowa, Pataki said the federal tax code should be rewritten and taxes for all Americans should be lowered.
Islamic State: Consider sending U.S. combat troops.
Pataki has said during recent interviewshe is open to and may favor the United States sending combat troops to the middle east to destroy Islamic State training centers and social media hubs. The White House hopeful also says he would focus on building up the local military and would utilize airstrikes to attack the group.
Iran/Israel: End current negotiations with Iran. No peace talks with current Palestinian leaders until they recognize Israel.
Speaking to the Republican Jewish Coalition this spring (See video here), Pataki called for an end to current negotiations with Iran, criticizing current agreement outlines as not tough enough. In the same speech, Pataki said the next president should not attempt to negotiation with current Palestinian leaders until they recognize the right of Israel to exist. In 2002, then-Governor Pataki spoke in favor of another state official’s visit to West Bank settlements.