Iowa-Bound Pataki Slams Obama's First 100 Days
Former Republican New York Gov. George Pataki heads to Iowa Wednesday to deliver a scathing critique of President Obama's first 100 days in office.
"I think it's time that those of us who have been silent for a while stand up and point out what I think have been just some horrendous mistakes on the part of the new administration in Washington," Pataki told ABC News as part of the "Candidate Corner" series. "We're seeing a president who seems to be more concerned with how popular he is in Europe than with what is happening here at home. This is a president who spends more time traveling the country than running the country in Washington.
"To be perfectly honest, I am very disappointed in these first 100 days," he added. "I think we need to see a government in Washington that is more understanding of the nature of this country and our problems and less committed to borrowing, spending, taxing and using massive government bailouts to try to get our economy headed in the right direction."
There is no shortage of Republican critics of Obama, but Pataki's Wednesday speech at Drake University Law School in Des Moines is drawing notice because it is occuring in the state that traditionally hosts the first presidential nominating contest. Pataki's address is part of the American Future Fund's "Conservative Lecture Series."
Is Pataki, who flirted with a presidential bid in 2008, eyeing a White House run in 2012?
"Let's think about 2009 and 2010, and 2012 will take care of itself," said Pataki. "I think it's important that Republicans stage a comeback not just in Washington in the House and Senate but also in the state legislatures and governorships across the country."
Pataki, who served three terms as governor, is currently being courted by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, to run in 2010 against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, the New York Democrat appointed to the seat vacated by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
"It's very nice to understand that some of the national leaders in the Republican Party think I would be a good candidate for the Senate, and when they call on you to take a look at it, you certainly do take a look at it," said Pataki.
He said, however, that it is far too early to commit to such a race.
"Everybody is acting like the election is this November, the election is next November," said Pataki. "When I ran for governor the first time, very few people knew who I was, and I didn't announce I was a candidate for governor until January of that year."
Pataki does not support same-sex marriage, and he criticized Iowa's Supreme Court for striking down a state law that had limited marriage in the state to one man and one woman.
"When it comes to important policy decisions, those decisions should be made by the elected representatives of the people and not by judges who are, in most cases, not elected and, in every case, not accountable to the will of the people," said Pataki.
While being clear about his opposition to gay marriage, Pataki also reiterated his support for legislation "approving and protecting civil rights and equal rights" for gay couples.
"One thing we as Republicans need to be is a far more open party," said Pataki. "I'm hopeful that we can again become a more inclusive party consistent with our profound philosophical belief in limited government and individual responsibility and accountability."