- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Another 24 hours, and another Republican hopeful comes to call on American voters. George Pataki will announce his plans to run for president on Thursday morning; with a touch of drama, the former New York governor will journey to Exeter, New Hampshire for his big reveal. The historic town of 9,242 was more or less the birthplace of the Republican Party, founded in 1853 right there in the local Squamscott Hotel.

Mr. Pataki, meanwhile, will make his 2016 intentions known at the Exeter Town Hall. A 6-foot 5-inch fiscal conservative and an advocate of “smaller, smarter government,” Mr. Pataki has already spelled out his beliefs via We the People, Not Washington - a month-old political action committee. The next president, he says, must reduce the size, scope and cost of government, simplify the tax code, institute term limits for Congress and permanently ban retired lawmakers from lobbying.

“Defeating Islamic terror, shrinking government and growing the economy. These are the issues that matter most. Instead, we’re debating social issues like abortion and gay rights. They’re a distraction and will only help elect Hillary. After eight years of Obama-style socialism, we need to shrink government - not let big government tells us how to live our lives,” Mr. Pataki says in a new campaign video.

He also says the federal government must leave healthcare and education to the states and the citizenry, and has taken a hardline on terrorism, suggesting the U.S, must “proactively pursue terrorists” or risk another major attack on American soil.

“Our next president can’t begin with a worldwide apology tour. We need to take the fight to the terrorists directly,” says Mr. Pataki.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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