by Steven Ertelt
April 5, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — It’s looking less and less likely that pro-abortion former New York Gov. George Pataki will undertake a bid to capture the GOP nomination for president. After spending 11 years as the governor of a large state Republican don’t do well in, some thought he might be a top-shelf presidential contender.
Last fall he opened a campaign office in New Hampshire, the second state in the primary race, but he closed it shortly thereafter.
However, since he stepped down as governor, Pataki has given his blessing to several staff members joining other presidential campaigns — including that of fellow New Yorker Rudy Giuliani.
The latest signal that Pataki wouldn’t be part of the 2008 campaign is his decision to join a New York City law firm along with his chief of staff, according to a Congressional Quarterly report.
Pataki has commented that he is "thrilled" to join the firm, Chadbourne and Parke, and says he will “continue to be involved in the public policy debate."
In December, Pataki said he would make a decision about whether he will run for president in 2008 "in the next few weeks" but his silence since then may be the biggest indicator.
In comments on the CNN television program "Situation Room," back then, Pataki claimed he could overcome objection to his pro-abortion stance that prevent previous GOP presidential candidates like Arlen Specter and Pete Wilson from gaining any traction.
"I don’t think there’s any question that someone who has a vision and a proven record of leadership … consistent with Republican philosophies of limited government … can win the nomination and the election," Pataki said.
Post-eletion polling after the 2004 presidential elections found that President Bush’s pro-life stance gave him an edge over pro-abortion Sen. John Kerry.
A 2004 Wirthlin Worldwide post-election poll found that 42 percent of voters said abortion affected the way they voted for president. Twenty-four percent of voters cast their ballots for President Bush while 15% voted for Kerry, giving Bush a 9 percent advantage on the issue of abortion.
Eight percent of voters in the Wirthlin poll indicated abortion was the "most important" issue affecting their votes and Bush won among those voters by a six to two percent margin, leading Kerry by four percentage points among the most intense abortion voters.
Pataki upset pro-life advocates numerous times during his tenure as New York governor.
In July, Pataki vetoed a bill that would have authorized a group of new specialty license plates there, including one commemorating the September 11 terrorist attacks. The governor blamed the veto on a lawsuit supporters of the Choose Life license plate filed after they were denied a specialty plate.
Last May, Pataki said he supported a bill in the legislature requiring taxpayers to spend $100 million annually on embryonic stem cell research, which requires the destruction of human life.
He also signed legislation requiring hospitals — including religious ones — to distribute the morning after pill and signed another bill requiring health insurance plans to do the same thing.