Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry may be putting off talk of a 2016 presidential run, but New York ex-Gov. George Pataki hinted he’d be proud to run against him for the White House.
Pataki huddled with Perry at a dinner at 21 on Wednesday and said:
‘“Rick, you are a great friend, you were a great governor . . . If in fact the two of us are roaming through the snow in New Hampshire together next January, there is no one I will be prouder to stand next to than Governor Rick Perry.”
Pataki announced Thursday he has formed a super PAC to explore a presidential bid.
Perry, who says he’ll decide whether he’ll run for president by June, spoke to a group of power players at the dinner dubbed “The Real Economic State of the Union,” hosted by John Catsimatidis, CNBC’s Larry Kudlow and economist Stephen Moore, who explained that they, along with Art Laffer and Steve Forbes, are forming the Committee to Unleash American Prosperity to showcase GOP stars and discuss the economy.
Pataki had harsh words for Mayor Bill de Blasio, saying, “We have a rotten mayor in this city, he is flat-out awful,” and criticized President Obama as “living in some fantasy world.” He added, “I was the governor on Sept. 11, and I saw the consequences of us not being willing to confront and realize the nature of the threat . . . I honestly believe we are at greater risk of an attack today than we have been at any time since Sept. 11.”
Perry, sounding a lot like a presidential candidate, discussed tax reform and opening the Keystone XL Pipeline, saying: “America will never be held hostage again by countries that don’t have our best interests in mind.”
He added of the State of the Union speech, “I heard a president that is disassociated with reality.” He referred to his own infamous stammer in a 2011 debate: “I did a really poor job of preparing . . . A huge error on my part,” and said he’d spent two years studying economics “in the eventuality that I get to the position to be able to decide the people that need to make decisions on monetary policy.” And when one guest remarked on Perry’s svelte figure and surmised, “You must be running,” he innocently responded: “Actually, I’ve been biking a lot.”