George Pataki in CNN 2015 GOP primary debate


On Civil Rights: Uphold rule of law;fire those who won't perform gay marriage

Q: Kim Davis is an elected official in Kentucky who was jailed for refusing to provide marriage licenses for same-sex couples.

PATAKI: We have a rule in America: an elected official can't say I'm not going to follow that law if it conflicts with my beliefs. I think she should have been fired and if she worked for me, I would have fired her. We have to uphold the rule of law. Imagine that was a Muslim who said "I don't believe in gay marriage," and refused to perform that wedding. We wouldn't have had that outrage. There's a place where religion supersedes the rule of law. It's called Iran. It shouldn't be the United States.

SANTORUM: People have a fundamental right in the First Amendment; that's the freedom of conscience.

PATAKI: You should be able to engage in your religious belief as you see fit. But when you are an elected official and you take an oath of office to uphold the law, all the laws, you cannot pick & choose or you no longer have a society that depends on the rule of law.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Corporations: 12% manufacturing tax rate, so we'll make things in America

SANTORUM [to Pataki]: My 20/20 plan will put a 20% rate on corporations. We allow for expensing, we have a three year phase in. We start at zero for manufacturers, phase it up to 20. You're going to see an enormous investment of capital and equipment.

PATAKI: I agree with Rick on manufacturing, but my approach is different. I would pass a rate on manufacturing of 12%, the lowest in the developed world so we can make things in America again. I know how important those jobs are. When I went through college, Christmas and summer vacations, I worked in a factory. My grandparents worked in a factory. We have the opportunity now with lower energy costs, with the world labor cost getting higher, to make things in America so we don't have to worry about China. Lower the tax burden on manufacturing; improve the work skills of Americans; get rid of job killing regulations.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Government Reform: Lifetime ban on elected officials becoming lobbyists

I would propose a law: right now there are over 400 former members of the House and Senate who are registered lobbyists in Washington. I would propose a law on day one, you serve one day in the House or Senate, there's a lifetime ban on you ever being a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. You get elected, you go back home. You don't stay and support the special interests.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Immigration: Deport only criminal aliens; but end sanctuary cities

We all agree you have to secure the border. We have to make sure that people come to America legally. That has got to be step one.

Step two is, we have to stop releasing criminals into the communities. If you are charged with a crime as an illegal alien, you should either be in jail or be deported. You should not released, as the Obama administration has done. Of course, we should outlaw sanctuary cities and hold them responsible.

But we can't ignore 11 million people who are here. What are we going to do? We're not going to send them back, despite somebody saying we're going to drag kids out of classrooms and send them back.

What I would do is require those who want to have legal status, not citizenship, come forward, acknowledg

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Immigration: Birthright citizenship is ok; don't deport those kids

Q: Republicans are debating birthright citizenship, the policy of granting citizenship to every baby born in this country, even if born to undocumented immigrants. Why you think we should preserve birthright?

PATAKI: I don't think we should tell children born in America that we're going to send them back. The way to avoid that is to have an intelligent immigration policy where we know who is coming here, why they are coming here, so we don't have this flood of people coming for the wrong reasons

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Principles & Values: Need judges and courts that support the rule of law

I will appoint judges who understand their role. They're not going to be making the law; they're going to be interpreting law that the elected officials passed. But when you are an elected official and you take an oath of office to uphold the law, all the laws, you cannot pick and choose or you no longer have a society that depends on the rule of law.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Tax Reform: Raise taxes on fat-cat hedge fund managers

I would throw out the entire corrupt tax code. What I would do is get rid of the 1.4 million every year in exemptions and loopholes, dramatically lower the rates. The normal American person is paying higher taxes than they should because of loopholes, and one of them is that carried interest loophole. I would tax that income the same as ordinary income. I'd lower the rate to 24 percent for all Americans, but I would not give a special break to the Wall Street fat cats.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Tax Reform: Keep home mortgage deduction & charitable deductions

Q [to SANTORUM]: Jeb Bush has proposed a tax reform plan, and in it, he limits deductions, including the popular home mortgage deduction. Would you?

SANTORUM: [My 20/20 plan] eliminates all the deductions and special interest provisions.

Q [to PATAKI]: Would you also be for doing away with people's deductions for their mortgages.

PATAKI: No, I would not. I would keep that deduction. I would keep the home mortgage deduction, the charitable deduction, and others.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On War & Peace: Give the Israelis massive MOPS bombs to use against Iran

Q [to Pataki]: I want to quote Rick Santorum: "We should send a very clear message that If you are a scientist and you're going to work on a nuclear program to develop a bomb for Iran, you are not safe." Does that message work? Is anything that works on the table?

PATAKI: Not on the table but I think there's a lot that does work. And that is to have a strong America, a strong military and a resolve where the Iranians know that not only are we going to reject this deal on day one and re-impose sanctions but, if they move forward with the nuclear program, their safety for those facilities will be at risk. I'll tell you a couple of things I'd do. I'd give the Israelis bombs called MOPs, massive ordnance penetrators. Give them to Israel. Let the Iranians know we're prepared to work with Israel to make sure they never have a nuclear weapon.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On War & Peace: Radical Islam poses threat here in America, like on 9/11

Last week was the anniversary of September 11th and I was governor of New York on September 11th and led us through that horrible day. And I learned that we cannot assume that because radical Islam is a continent away, it doesn't pose a threat to us here in America. It did then, and today, I think, we are at greater risk of an attack than at any time since. We have got to destroy ISIS's ability to attack us here.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

The above quotations are from CNN Two-Tier 2015 GOP primary debate
First Tier: Eleven candidates by polls
Second Tier: Four other Republicans
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Page last updated: Sep 05, 2016