George Pataki: ‘I’ll Certainly Feel Compelled To Run’ If No Strong Candidate Emerges

Former New York Gov. George Pataki (R) may be getting closer to a run for president in 2012, saying Wednesday that if no candidate with a strong deficit-reduction plan emerges — one who actually has a shot at beating President Obama — then “I’ll certainly feel compelled to take a look.”In an interview with the Fiscal Times, Pataki said that the national debt is “if not the most important issue, then one of the two most important issues facing the future of our country.”

When asked if anyone in the Republican field is “adequately addressing this issue,” Pataki replied: “Not at this point.”

“I’m still hopeful,” he said, “but I think all the Republican candidates understand the importance of this issue. And I think any one of them would be better than the record of this President.”

Pataki was asked about his own prospects for the race, as he is rumored to be considering a run. “Well I’m not running now,” he said, “but I think we do need someone who has both a serious deficit- reduction program that they can outline and a good chance of defeating President Obama come next fall. So hopefully a candidate will emerge from the GOP field that does that, someone I could feel strongly about and support.”

He added that he was “disappointed” Mitch Daniels didn’t run because he thought Daniels’ had a strong track record on economic issues. “But I hope someone fills that void. And if not, I’ll certainly feel compelled to take a look,” Pataki said.

Read the full interview here.

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