September 20th, 2009
05:00 PM ET
14 years ago

NY Gov. Paterson vows to run despite White House 'concern'

(CNN) - New York Gov. David A. Paterson said Sunday he will run for election to hold onto his office next year, 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 Barack 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.

- CNN's Ed Henry contributed to this report.

Updated: 5:00 p.m.

Filed under: David Paterson • New York • President Obama
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. jules sand-perkins

    Good for Gov.Paterson!
    He is an idealistic leader who has the courage to act on his beliefs regarding social justice.
    I hope to see Paterson run in spite of Obama's feeling threatened by opposition to this fine govenor.
    There is a lot of opposition to Obama's performance in his presidency: perhaps Gov. Paterson should ask Obama to announce that he will not seek a second term in 2012. That might improve Paterson's chances of election.
    I am much more satisfied with Paterson's performance as govenor of my state than I am with Obama's as president of my country.

    September 20, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  2. Willy Brown

    Good man don't let Obama and his goons run you off the plantation.

    September 20, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  3. New Yorker

    You can thank Saturday Night Live; they did an incredible job of destroying Paterson's image just as they did Palin.

    Actually, it's the foolishness of the Democrats that has them in hot water. the Republicans are only a tad bit better, but with them there's a bit of hope.

    September 20, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  4. Nea

    Well just let the people decide the next election.

    September 20, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  5. Keith in Austin

    The DNC would sell their mothers for a few more votes to keep them in power!

    September 20, 2009 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  6. Kent in CA

    Take him out, Cuomo. You don't need the White House. Just get it done. Do not let Guiliani take it because of a failure to take appropriate action. Patterson is already in meltdown mode.

    September 20, 2009 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
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