With an Eye on 2012, Pataki Launches Anti-ObamaCare Group

ABC News' Teddy Davis reports: Former New York Gov. George Pataki, a Republican, is in Boston today to launch "RevereAmerica.org," a new 501(c)(4) organization whose purpose is to build grass roots support for repealing and replacing President Obama's recently enacted health reform package. "We're going to be in all 50 states. We're going to mobilize at the grass roots to get at least a million signatures and e-mail addresses of people who will support us in working to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with a true health care reform," said Pataki during a Sunday morning appearance on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal." Pataki's new group, whose name and launch date are intended to invoke Paul Revere, is the latest sign that the former New York governor is eyeing a run for president in 2012 against an incumbent president whom he sees as "arrogant," "narrow-minded" and "demeaning" towards Tea Party activists who disagree with him. "The president said he was amused by their dissatisfaction," said Pataki. "You know, when you're a Republican governor of New York, where I was for 12 years, I had pickets and protestors and demonstrations all the time. I didn't dismiss them. I didn't demean them. I respected them and tried to treat them civilly and, in fact, tried to listen. Because when people disagree with you, to simply dismiss it is narrow-minded, arrogant and not the way to lead. And that is what the president did when he said that he was 'amused' by the Tea Party activists who should be thanking him. Instead, he should be respectful of their right to exercise their constitutional rights and of their concerns for the future of their country." Pataki's new organization will take him on a multi-stop trip around the country that includes an April 20 visit to Des Moines, Iowa, the state that holds the first presidential nominating contest. During his appearance on C-SPAN, Pataki sought to downplay the significance of the Iowa visit and noted that he is also planning to visit a handful of other states. "I think to worry about 2012 is a disservice to the American people," said Pataki. "A couple of points: First, I love the private sector. I spent 12 years as governor of New York state. I am now working in green energy areas and next generation vehicles so that we can end our over-reliance on people like Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, and I'm enjoying that very much. And second, I don't think we can wait until 2012 to reclaim our government. So that's why RevereAmerica is out there now." Pataki recently announced that he would not be a U.S. Senate candidate in New York against appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. A major GOP donor who personally urged Pataki to run for the Senate told ABC News that the former New York governor did not want to get into the race because he is laying the groundwork for a presidential run in 2012. The donor was granted anonymity so that he could be more candid. Pataki told C-SPAN that there is symbolism in the name of his group, "RevereAmerica.org," and in its launch date. "Two-hundred and thirty-five years ago today, Paul Revere left from near the North Church in Boston to awaken patriots that our freedom was in danger," said Pataki. "Well, we think ObamaCare is one example of how a Washington that doesn't listen to the people and that sees politicians and government as having the solutions to all the issues facing our country is another threat to our freedom. "We woke up then and created the greatest country the world has ever known," Pataki added. "We're going to wake up and be active today and reclaim this government for the people." While Pataki wants to repeal Obama's health care plan he says that there are components of the plan he wants to preserve. In particular, Pataki cited new protections for people with pre-existing conditions as one of the "good" aspects of Obama's plan. "We're going to show the same tenacity in working to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with true health care reform that they showed in ramming it through," said Pataki. "We're not going to let them get away with it." Pataki's flirtation with a presidential run in 2012, which has lready included trips to Iowa and New Hampshire, is not the first time that he has weighed a White House run. He actively considered a run for president in 2008 but ultimately passed on the race. Two issues that hobbled him at the time were his support for abortion rights and gun control. If he moves forward with a 2012 White House run, the Pataki camp is hoping that his tough line against Obama's health care and budget policies will endear him to Republican primary voters even though his abortion and gun stances put him at odds with the GOP's conservative base.

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