Top 14 Republican Presidential Candidates

George Pataki
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Two-thirds of the Republicans who say they are looking for non-political experience currently support either Trump or Carson — the foundation of the wide division between the two outsiders and the rest of a field made up almost exclusively of traditional politicians.

The polls get most of the attention, but they’re not the most important part of the early stages of a presidential campaign. The better guide to who’s really winning is known as the “invisible primary,” in which candidates compete for support from their fellow politicians, from party leaders and from donors.

Take a look at Top 14 Republican Presidential Candidates and their opinions on different issues:

14. George Pataki, Former New York Governor

Pools: 0.3

On May 28, 2015, Pataki announced his bid for the presidency via a video posted on his campaign website. Pataki said, “I was a Republican governor in a very deep blue state, the state of New York, and I was governor for three terms. And it’s because at the end people realized my vision was not a partisan vision, it was a vision about people, about what we could accomplish together.”

Pataki served in the New York State Assembly and New York State Senate before being elected Governor of New York in 1994. Pataki remained in that position for three terms, including the months after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.


In an interview with U.S. News & World Report July 15, 2015, George Pataki said he would scrap the current tax code in favor of something similar to the recommendations made by the bipartisan deficit reduction commission led by former Clinton administration official Erskine Bowles and former Republican senator Alan Simpson “I would essentially throw out the entire tax code, along the lines of the Bowles-Simpson recommendation. Get rid of the vast majority of the exemptions, credits and loopholes.

I would keep things like the home mortgage interest deduction, the charitable credit and the [research and development] credit. But simplify it and dramatically lower the rates. I think we’d have a far fairer system. I don’t know that I want to say [what my highest rate would be] now, but it would be dramatically lower than what it is today.

It would be along the lines of Bowles-Simpson. Among other things, I am going to suggest that we have a tax rate on manufacturing that is the lowest in the developed world. Right now our corporate tax rate is the highest in the developed world.”

National security

In an interview on FOX News on February 4, 2015, George Pataki said, “First of all, we have to acknowledge that Islamic terror is an enemy of the United States. Call it by its name, whether it’s ISIS, or al Qaeda, or Boko Haram.” Pataki called on his experience as governor of New York during the September 11 attacks to argue “if it takes boots on the ground for a limited period of time to destroy ISIS, they must be destroyed there, before they attack us here.”


George Pataki called the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, “the worst law of my lifetime” during a March 2015 interview with NewsmaxTV. Pataki stated the law was unconstitutional and should be repealed.

At the Republican Leadership Summit in New Hampshire on April 17, 2015, Pataki espoused the benefits of a market-based healthcare system, and added, “We should allow consumers to purchase across state lines and get rid of the junk negligence lawsuits that drive up the cost of medicine.”


During the September 2015 GOP debate, George Pataki supported birthright citizenship again. “I don’t think that we should tell that child born in America that we’re going to send them back. The way to avoid that is to have an intelligent immigration policy where we know who is coming here, why they are coming here, so we don’t have this flood of people coming here for the wrong reasons,” said Pataki.


George Pataki spoke exclusively about his education policies during an interview on Girard at Large in April 2015. Pataki said, “Education has always been a state and local issue. It’s not a Washington issue, and the idea that we’re going to have one national testing system imposed on students in every community across America is wrong. I opposed Common Core. I think it’s a terrible idea. I’m for standards, but those standards should be imposed locally and at the state level.”


In a September 2015 interview with The Politic, George Pataki opposed Republican efforts to end abortion entirely. Instead, Pataki said, they should focus on banning abortions after 20 weeks. “The Democrats are always saying Republicans reject science, but the Democrats reject science that says now at about 20 weeks there’s no doubt there’s a life that is sustainable outside of the womb.

I believe that is a human life that we have not just a legal right, but an obligation to protect. … So you’re going to hear people talking about ‘I’m going to do this, I’m going to ban abortion, and I’m going to do that,’ it’s not going to happen. Three things can happen, ban abortion after 20 weeks, defund Planned Parenthood, and a permanent ban on using taxpayer dollars to fund abortion,” said Pataki.

Gay rights

George Pataki said during the September 2015 GOP debate that America should not be “a place where religion supersedes the rule of law” and that “when you are an elected official and you take an oath of office to uphold the law, all the laws, you cannot pick and choose or you no longer have a society that depends on the rule of law.” Pataki made these statements in reference to the actions of Kim Davis, a Kentucky clerk who was jailed for refusing to give out same-sex marriage licenses following the Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marraige in Obergefell v. Hodges.