George Pataki, who would like you to know that he was governor of New York during 9/11, has suspended his 2016 presidential bid. At 9 p.m., hours after the Boston Globe reported that Pataki told several supporters that he was dropping out of the race, the GOP candidate made the official announcement in a two-minute spot that aired on NBC in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.
Pataki did not throw his support behind any of his rivals, but the video offers some big hints at who he won’t be endorsing. He explains what needs to be done “if we’re truly going to make America great again,” and says he’s confident that Americans will elect, “someone who will bring us together and who understands that politicians, including the president, must be the people’s servant and not their master.”
Ironically, Pataki had the free air time because he was the first candidate to request “equal time” from NBC following Donald Trump’s appearance on Saturday Night Live. Pataki spokesperson David Catalfamo told CNN Money that up until Tuesday morning, the plan was to use the time to air campaign ads. “We filmed two spots,” Catalfamo said. “We wanted the two minutes to break format and have a ‘fireside chat’ with voters.”
“Ultimately,” Catalfamo added, “the campaign decided we didn’t have the resources to continue effectively.”
According to the latest YouGov/Economist poll, 56 percent of Americans thought Pataki could never win the presidential election. There was a long tradition of people telling Pataki not to run for president that lasted nearly 20 years. A recent example comes from a newspaper upstate, which published the headline “Former NY Gov. George Pataki’s presidential bid viewed as longshot, even in Syracuse.”
Former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore, who is so low in the polls that he failed to qualify for the last four undercard debates, is still running.