September 21st, 2009
09:28 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama, Paterson to cross paths in New York

Obama and Paterson will attend the same event in Troy, New York Monday.
Obama and Paterson will attend the same event in Troy, New York Monday.

(CNN) - Call it interesting timing.

New York Gov. David A. Paterson attends an economy event with President Barack Obama today in Troy, New York.

The event comes one day after Paterson said he will run next year for election for a full term as governor, despite a New York Times report that said the White House is "urging" him to withdraw.

Senior White House officials deny the report, which said that President Obama "sent a request" to Paterson. The paper described it as "an extraordinary intervention into a state political race by the president."

The Times report cited "two senior administration officials and a New York Democratic operative with direct knowledge of the situation."

Speaking to CNN, White House officials acknowledged that aides have conveyed to Paterson's camp that they are aware of Paterson's unpopularity at home and the political troubles it could cause.

"It's no secret that Democrats in New York are very concerned about the situation," said one White House official. "We share those concerns and those concerns have been conveyed in an appropriate way."

Paterson told reporters Sunday, "I am running for office. I'm not going to discuss confidential conversations." He said he was focused on state legislation, not "distractions."

The New York Times story said the situation is "delicate," and noted that Paterson is one of only two African-American governors in the United States, the other being Deval Patrick of Massachusetts.

The report said the president's "political team and other party leaders have grown increasingly worried that the governor's unpopularity could drag down Democratic members of Congress in New York, as well as the Democratic-controlled Legislature, in next fall's election."

Paterson was lieutenant governor when a scandal led to then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer's departure from the office in March 2008.

Recent polls suggest that Paterson's approval rating among New York State voters ranges from the low 20's to around 30 percent. And surveys suggest Paterson trails New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in a hypothetical Democratic gubernatorial primary by more than a two to one margin. Cuomo has not indicated whether he will challenge Paterson in 2010, but the son of former New York State Governor Mario Cuomohas amassed a large war chest.

Polls also indicate that Paterson trails former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in a hypothetical 2010 general election match up by nearly a two to one margin. Giuliani, a Republican presidential candidate in the 2008 campaign, has not decided whether he'll run for governor.

– CNN's Ed Henry and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Jacques

    With Patterson blaming racism for all his troubles, I am sure he will lob in a charge of racism towards the White House, especially since Patterson is one of only two sitting African-American governors.

    September 21, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  2. j

    He probably needs to step down "for the good of the party".

    September 21, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  3. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    THIS QUESTION IS TO CNN's Ed Henry and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report. America WOULD like TO KNOW WHO in the White House is urging New York Govenor Paterson him to withdraw from the New York State Governor Race give us a name PLEASE. Let America know. Thank You

    September 21, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "Paterson told reporters Sunday, "I am running for office. I'm not going to discuss confidential conversations."
    --------------------------------

    Well said by Gov. Paterson. In the constant quest for "news" evidently not even confidential nor 'off-the-record' writings or utterances are off-limits.

    I think that the Democrats in Congress and elsewhere in our government would best be served by getting their act together and acting in concert with the President. It amuses and distresses me to see them without real focus and purpose, and quite frankly, wasting their majority.

    September 21, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  5. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Paterson is a nonentity and should not run.

    September 21, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    Politics as usual.

    September 21, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  7. John, Brooklyn, New York

    Obama is right...Patterson should not run for re-election.

    As a lifelong Democrat I feel that Patterson is now seen as a liability to the party here in New York – some as a result of his own making, some not.

    Bottom line, the appointment of Gillibrand was not a smart move and now we are forced to do our best to present her in the best possible way (when she doesn't even attract Democrats). She is a sitting duck to any formidable Republican challenger.

    While hindsight is 20/20, in retrospect the decision to snub Caroline Kennedy is even more of a blunder in light of 2 things – 1) we could have used her high profile voice on health care reform and 2) she would have been easily re-elected after the death of her uncle.

    September 21, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  8. moses

    Is this the same politics of change candidate everyone voted into office? Seems like politics as usual to me. Be careful what you wish for, America.

    September 21, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  9. Amazing

    Cross paths? Obama going to tell him NOT to run again. This ought to be good.

    September 21, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  10. Vyker

    Please see the hipocracy here folks....

    If a 'white' president asked only one of two black governors not to run or 'consider' there plan.....you would scream the republican's are racist.

    However...'the messiah' has an easy time being able to interfere in state matters.

    Boy...I though federal government did not want to dictate to states who should run ( I guess it is okay though.....BO can tell the auto industry who should leave or run the company)

    only 3 more years.....I can't believe I am missing Pres. Bush.

    September 21, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  11. Voter

    Hey, Obama, this New Yorker says, "butt out of New York State Politics!!"

    Paterson may or may not win the Governor's race, but it sure isn't any of your business.

    You can't run America, Mr. O. Time for someone to cut you and your arrogant Democratic National Committee down to size.

    Last time you and your cronies decided to act like the political thugs you are with a NYS politician, you pushed Hillary out. She, by the way, is the remaining reigning expert on health care in the US. We'd have it without the blood bath if she were in the White House. Just straightforward health care of every single American. Not the watered down, cowtow to the insurance companies version you propose.

    Oops, I forgot your order from On-High to appoint Caroline Kennedy, with zero experience who hadn't been north of Yonkers in her entire life, to Hillary's seat. How did that work for you, Barry?

    September 21, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  12. Enough

    Maybe Obama would like to pick the candidate, since he doesn't think Paterson should run. Obama doesn't like to hear the words "NO", hope Paterson can hold his ground against the old mighty Obama.

    September 21, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  13. Bob in Pa

    I wonder if there is any thing in the Americans With Diabilities act that covers this type of situation ?

    September 21, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  14. Mike

    nobama and patterson, two peas in the pod.

    September 21, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  15. Chris

    I think that Paterson is trying his best to be a good governor but the odds are against him. Personally, I think that he should withdraw and should Cuomo challenge him, I believe that Cuomo will win.

    September 21, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  16. AstroTurf This

    Why would this be surprising to anyone? This White House hounds the news media every day with phone calls if anything is reported that reflects negatively on Obama. That's called intimidation. They whine and cry like babies. They are all involved in getting the law changed to their advantage in getting Ted Kennedy's seat filled...with a Democrat...so they can ram this healthcare bill through with reconciliation. I have never in my life seen a more unprofessional administration in the White House. This President has had a free pass in the news media but they've abused their power and hopefully the news media is finally going to stop this pandering. The honeymoon is over.

    September 21, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  17. JEAN - ATL

    Patterson should really be aware that there are no plans by New Yorkers to elect him as governor. It has been obvious for months, and why the media is making such a big deal about whatever it is that the WH talked to him about is ridiculous. Patterson has been his own worst enemy since he was installed to replace Spitzer. Why should dems back someone who in all probability will lose, and why should he waste money and time running?
    .

    September 21, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  18. Obama=Trickle up Poverty

    Obama is going there to reinforce his orders to Paterson---Don't run.

    September 21, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  19. Parker

    Paterson couldn't get elected dog catcher. He's in way over head and cannot control the most disfunctional legislative body in the country. He should abide by the requests of his party and the people and just say goodbye.

    September 21, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  20. New Era

    I don't think any US Governor should play party line politics when it comes to their state. We need governors who represent their state not their party favorites.

    Let Paterson run, win or lose, the next New York Governor wil need all hands on deck to fill those huge potholes.

    September 21, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  21. Kip Barkley

    A picture of two men whose political cares are for the blacks and "underprivileged". They have no interest in Americans who have worked hard to provide a decent life for their families.

    September 21, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  22. rachel

    CNN POST maybe patterson should have his people tell Obama's people that he doesnt think that Obama should run for reelection.

    September 21, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. G2

    I think Guliani or Bloomberg would make a better governor than Patterson. NY is in need of someone who knows how to support business expansion in the state to bring home more jobs!

    September 21, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. JP

    Obama said, "tis is not the biggest issue facing the country," "It's not something I'm paying a lot of attention to." Billions of taxpayers dollars given to ciminal organization that helped elect Obama is not worth Obama'sime but he has time to campaign for his buddy Paterson.

    September 21, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  25. makesUwonder

    Oh my gosh.......talk about the blind leading the blind.

    September 21, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |