The former, three-term New York governor told the New York Daily News in an interview published on Tuesday that he’s “very seriously” thinking about making a bid for the nation’s highest office.
Pataki also took a dig at President Obama, saying “When you look at the last six years, we have someone who may speak well but has never run anything” and pointed to his own experience running state government from 1995 to 2006.
The 69-year-old, who currently runs a consulting firm, said he would make a final decision by next year. Pataki fueled speculation that he was considering running when he visited the early primary states of New Hampshire and South Carolina earlier this year for private meetings and a speaking event.
It isn’t the first time Pataki – who presided over New York following the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center – has flirted with making a bid for the Oval Office. In the lead up to both the 2008 and 2012 elections, Pataki said he was considering launching a campaign but eventually decided against a bid.
Of course, if he does run, Pataki would join a very big field of potential Republican candidates, including former Govs. Jeb Bush of Florida and Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, in addition to sitting Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida.
Pataki is considered a moderate Republican (he has said in the past he’s in favor of abortion rights and other socially progressive positions) and would likely encounter an uphill battle to win over more conservative voters who play a decisive role in the nominating process.
On Tuesday, Jeb Bush on Facebook also announced that he was actively exploring the possibility of running for president in 2016.