Former New York Gov. George Pataki is thinking about running for president, and he made his case Tuesday to firefighters.
His key message was that the nation faces a more dangerous terrorist threat today than it did before Sept. 11, 2001. Pataki was governor when New York City was attacked that day.
“We think because terrorists are thousands of miles away they don’t post any threat. They do,” he said. Pataki spoke to the International Association of Fire Fighters presidential forum at a Capitol Hill hotel, and then spoke to reporters.
“You don't run for president because you were in office September 11,” he said. “That wouldn't make any sense.”
But, he added, “The lessons of September 11 have been forgotten by many people especially in Washington.” Pataki served three terms as governor of New York, from 1995 to 2006.
He took a dig at Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who recently compared dealing with state labor union protests to dealing with the Islamic State. Such a comparison, Pataki said, “is just flat out wrong.”
Pataki was asked his thoughts about a letter, signed by 47 Republican senators, that says any agreement between President Barack Obama and Iranian leaders could be undone by a future Congress or president.
“My honest feeling is that the president conducts foreign policy,” he said. “The president and Secretary of State have negotiations with foreign states. You don’t have Congress doing it.”
“On the other hand, the president should understand when they are engaging in important activities, such as the negotiations with Iran, they should let Congress know what's happening, particularly when you have a bipartisan coalition concerned with the course of those discussions.”
Pataki sympathized with Republicans. “I am very worried the president is so desperate to get a deal he will accept a deal taht allows Iran a pathway to nuclear weapons,” he said.