Americans are "fed up with Washington," Republican presidential George Pataki on Tuesday, and even as a veteran politician, he shares their frustration because the nation's capital is "an inside game."
"It doesn't matter which party is in control, it seems that government grows bigger, more intrusive, for powerful, and they're right," the former New York governor told CNN's "New Day" host Chris Cuomo.
"It's not just Donald Trump."
The polls are topped by Trump,
retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, all of whom can be considered outsiders, said Pataki, and even Cruz, a senator, is "always looking to shut down the government or filibuster against the insiders."
And Pataki said the frustration is real, and he shares it, because "we have to take back Washington from the powerful, from the interests, from the lobbyists and give it back to the people."
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Pataki served three terms in office, including winning in a tough fight against Mario Cuomo, and on Tuesday told Cuomo's news anchor son that his fight to win in a heavily Democratic state puts him in a strong position on the national stage, even if Trump is getting the lion's share of the attention.
"It's early in the process," he said. "The angry candidate, the one looking to divide, is the one getting attention right now. We're going to have to bring people together, work across party lines, get Democrats to support Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare and put in place a better alternative. That doesn't resonate in a 30-second sound bite."
Ultimately, said Pataki, "people want a grown-up government, they want people to bring people together and solve America's problems," and he believes he is the candidate who will do that, and vowed to go "the whole way."
Meanwhile, Pataki won New York based on the death penalty and told Cuomo that he expects to concentrate in the presidential election on the economy and the dangers of the Islamic State (ISIS).
"Americans don't see that the economic recovery is affecting their lives," he said. "We have to have stronger job growth and less government, and to grow the private sector you have to shrink the public sector."
And where ISIS is concerned, Pataki is calling for policies to shut down the terror group's recruiting and to destroy its training centers and recruitment hubs in the Middle East "before they have a chance to attack us here. The American people understand the importance of these issues."
Meanwhile, Trump is laying plans, including his comprehensive plan for immigration, but Pataki isn't buying Trump's call for building a wall or mass deportations of illegal immigrants, and he doesn't agree with the real estate magnate's call to lock up ISIS' oil reserves.
"These are all simplistic sound bites that sound wonderful," said Pataki. "Mexico is not going to pay to build the wall. Yes, we have to secure the border, but we're not going to send millions and millions of people [back] or rounding people up, putting them on buses and sending them back somewhere."
And while Pataki believes laws need to be enforced against companies that hire illegal immigrants, "everybody says we're going to go after the employers and nothing happens. You're going to go into every kitchen in America, arrest the owner, deport the people in the kitchen? It's not practical. It's not going to work."
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