Former New York Gov. George Pataki fell just short of officially announcing his presidential campaign Sunday, telling a New York radio show that if he were a "betting person," he "would make the decision to go."
"I'm not a betting person, but if I were, that's the way I'd bet," he said on The Rita Cosby Show
, which aired Sunday on WABC Radio. "Strongly leaning towards it."
Pataki, 69, was the Republican governor for his state from 1995 to 2007, and says that experience gives him the "ability to not just lead a big complex government, but to change it as I did in New York, so I'm seriously looking at it...very, very seriously, Rita."
He believes the country and its government is headed in the wrong direction, and said it's "hard to sit on the sideline if you believe you have the ability to run a government, like this country's government, well."
But even though Pataki said that he is "closer to making that decision than I've ever been," the way federal rules are structured, "I am not going to make that announcement, or the decision, at this time."
The former governor earlier this year announced that he launched a super PAC
as part of his plan to explore a possible presidential bid, and also considered running in the 2008 and 2012 races.
Pataki, in the exclusive Sunday interview, also discussed several other issues with Cosby, including police department body cams in the wake of the Freeport, Long Island, police department mandating them.
"I think it should be a local decision," he said. "I don't think we should have a federal policy [and] I don't think we should have a state policy."
Pataki was also outspoken about the Bowe Bergdahl case, saying he was outraged and believes President Barack Obama "broke the law" by exchanging prisoners for him.
"Congress said that you cannot, the president cannot, release a prisoner from Guantanamo without 30 days' written notice to the members of Congress," he said. "This points out a bigger problem with this administration. That it seems to be above the law whether it's unilaterally changing Obamacare, ignoring the law that prevented them from doing this Bergdahl exchange without prior written notification to Congress, or in so many other ways."
The topic of Hillary Clinton's private email server
also came up, with Pataki describing it as "just another example that the powerful in Washington think that the rules that apply to us, don't apply to them."
He also discussed the United States' dealings with the threat of the Islamic State, pointing out that he was governor during the Sept. 11 attacks.
"I saw the consequences of government thinking that because this radical Islam was thousands of thousands of miles overseas, it didn't pose a threat to us," he said. "It obviously did. We cannot sit back and simply say they are over there. They want to attack us here and I believe we have to go in, destroy as many of them as we can, as quickly as we can, destroy their recruiting centers and training facilities and then get out."
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