Former New York governor George Pataki on Thursday joined a growing list of candidates seeking the Republican nomination for President in 2016.
"My vision was not a partisan vision. It was a vision about people, about what we could accomplish together," Pataki said in a four-minute announcement video released Thursday morning, according to CNN . "If we are to flourish as a people, we have to fall in love with America again."
Pataki is considered the longest of longshots of GOP hopefuls. He barely registers in national opinion polls of the Republican field — if pollsters decide to include him at all, noted CNN.
Pataki, 69, held his first campaign event Thursday morning in the small New Hampshire town of Exeter, which claims to be the birthplace of the Republican Party.
Even before he formally became a candidate, Pataki chose to air a television advertisement in the state, which panned his party for focusing on social issues that he deemed a "distraction."
"Defeating Islamic terrorists, shrinking government, growing the economy — these are the issues that matter most," Pataki says in the advertisement that began in mid-April and quoted by CNN. "Instead we're debating social issues like abortion and gay rights."
The former governor said on CNN last week that the United States should deploy troops back to Iraq to fight growing Islamist threats, a position not expressed by his colleagues in the fray.
"I don't want to see us putting in a million soldiers, spend 10 years, a trillion dollars, trying to create a democracy where one hasn't existed," Pataki said. "But send in troops, destroy their training centers, destroy their recruitment centers, destroy the area where they are looking to plan to attack us here and then get out."