September 27th, 2009
12:25 PM ET
13 years ago

'I'm blind but I'm not oblivious,' Paterson says

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" In an interview Sunday, Gov. Paterson left his descriptions vague about discussions with the White House, saying he would not detail 'confidential conversations.'"]
(CNN) - Embattled New York Gov. David Paterson vowed Sunday he won't give in to White House pressure to drop out of next year's election, insisting, "I am not failing to stand up for my party."

Speaking to NBC's "Meet the Press," the governor - facing approval ratings below 20 percent - said "there are a lot of people who have told me not to run."

"I'm blind but I'm not oblivious," he said. "I realize that there are people who don't want me to run."

Paterson, the nation's first legally blind governor, said, "I have spent a whole life being told I couldn't do things. I was told by guidance counselors I shouldn't go to college."

"I was told, when I was minority leader of the Senate, that we couldn't win the majority. We won eight seats in four years and won the majority." Paterson also noted that a court his week upheld his appointment of a lieutenant governor, disproving those who said it would not be upheld. The message to him, Paterson said, "was that you don't give up."

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Filed under: David Paterson • New York • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. jules sand-perkins

    If Gov. Paterson runs, his will be the first name that I choose on my ballot, and it will be the ONLY DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE CHOSEN ON MY BALLOT.
    So why are the Democrats worried about Paterson's affecting their other offerings on their ticket?
    See how easy it is to split your ballot?
    Paterson for govenor, and all the rest Republicans straight down the line, because Obama does not appoint the govenors of states–especially mine.
    Paterson is terrific, even if Obama says, "No, Paterson Can't."

    September 27, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  2. rachel

    Well Patterson must obviously have a problem beign told what to do by a black person...Oh wait.


    September 27, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  3. Fed Up

    Good for you Gov. Paterson. Stand up to him. I hope everyone in NY votes for you just to prove to the President that he is not the end all be all in this world. He was elected President, not dictator.

    September 27, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. 2010 is going be wonderful

    Paterson doen't get it, the chosen one TOLD him to NOT run, PERIOD.

    Does he not know that you are not allowed to speak out against Obama or you are deemed a racist?

    What's that, oops, my bad, the sheep can't use that card here, what else do they have?

    Funny everyone knows that Obambi told him not to run and Paterson says it but the sheep still say that Obama didn't say this...

    Virginia, Mass and NY politics, are these the uh, uh, uh, uh, uh more important matters that the fraud in chief needs to take care of instead of KNOWING WHERE MY TAX DOLLARS ARE GOING IN REGARDS to his former employers ACORN?

    Lame duck before year two and not because the color of his skin, but his brutal lack of character and uh, uh, uh un-teleprompted brains.

    September 27, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  5. Sheri

    jules sand-perkins --- so what you want is deadlock in Albany! You know the Republicans would block anything a Democrat Gov. attempted to do. You know Paterson isn't "terrific". You must really not live in MY state, New York! FYI if you read the article, you'll see even Gov. Terrific Paterson says he wasn't asked not to run, so nobody said "No, Paterson Can't."

    September 27, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  6. No Incumbents 2010

    Yes, he is oblivious. He would rather lose a Democratic primary to Cuomo than not run for re-election thereby maintaining dignity and go on to make millions on the lecture circuit, lobbying, or serve as an Ambassador to Canada or administration official. Paterson could make millions working in Albany as a lobbyist and member of corporate boards. Yes he is oblivious if he thinks his mismanagement of state government and the Senate appointment have nothing to do with his low poll numbers.

    September 27, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  7. Barb

    PLEASE step down. New York is too powerful a state to revert back to Republican rule. For the good of the U.S., we need Democrats need to keep the legislative branches. REMEBER what Republican control did. How can we have such a short memory of the disaster of the last 8 years? The ecomony tanked, not because of Democrat, but Republican mismanagement. They didn't even include the 2 wars we are fighting in their budgets! and yet, they have the nerve to pretend (and delusionally believe) that the economy is Obama's fault? When are we going to get into our heads that Republicans really don't believe in a federal government. Why would we let them get in a position of control again? Patterson needs to step down so another Democrat can win.

    September 27, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  8. diane

    I am very offended that the President or the WH would attempt to intervene in a state election and pressure a candidate not to run because they don't want to support him/her, or their poll numbers are down. Does the President not have enough on his plate- health care, 2 wars, the economy, the environment, education- to worry about without sticking his nose in NY's business?

    Isn't Patterson facing a race for the Democratic nomination from Cuomo? Let the process work and allow the people of the state to decide their own representatives. Per Patterson, NY like all other states has had to deal with some tough economic decisions which or course will be unpopular. If Obama's plans don't work, he may be in the same situation in 2012. He needs to tend to the federal government and let states handle their own.

    I am sure Obama is not the first President who didn't want a member of his own party for a particular office but it is really in poor taste to ask a sitting Govenor to not run for his office. I would have expected better from him and those around him.

    September 27, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  9. David

    I must say, Gov. Paterson is earning my respect.

    September 27, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  10. Liberty Bell

    I'm in a interacial marriage we are both proud of Patterson standing up to Obama. I wish in our own state we had real DEM. were just stuck with these soicalist. I hope patterson can stand up to Obama's bag of dirty chicago tricks.

    September 27, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  11. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    Only Obama would be so arrogant to think he could tell someone whether to run or not in a STATE election. You would think that Obama was the head of some corrupt organized crime family or something...........Oh, wait a minute. He is. The DEMOCRATIC PARTY. 😉

    September 27, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  12. A.B.

    I think that Governor Patterson should just ignore the political pundits and party leaders and run for re-election if he wants to. He should take conventional political wisdom and turn it on its head. The decision to run or not to run for New York Governor rests with him and

    September 27, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  13. A.B.

    I think that Governor Patterson should just ignore the political pundits and party leaders and run for re-election if he wants to. He should take conventional political wisdom and turn it on its head. The decision to run or not to run for New York Governor rests with him and with no one else.

    September 27, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. Disappointed

    It is a bit far reaching for the president to get involved a states governor's race. As an independent voter, I am high disappointed with the White House. They have a crap load of othe things to do than to make those kinds of demands. If you want to have an input, campaign to keep it a Democratic seat. Otherwise, mind the country's business and live the state alone.

    September 27, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  15. Illinois 2

    Mr paterson should by all means run for re-election and Obama should shut his mouth about who and who should run for any office.

    If anyone think they know what is best, is there another motive. I cannot believe that there are so many people in this country so taken in by Obama, he sure doesn't deserve anything special, after all he is only human...........

    September 27, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  16. aamir

    White House is right he can not win and he could affect races down-ticket, including the Senate seat. Mr. Peterson should listen to senior Dems for the sake of the democratic party.

    September 27, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  17. Peace

    I like Paterson as a person but I fear after the results are out, he is going to hear: "we told you so"!
    20% Approval Rating is very low to give fruitful results in the end!

    September 27, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  18. R

    why is the white house involved? That makes me want to vote for him

    September 27, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  19. Mike in MN

    Good for Patterson. He probably won't get the party nomination in the primary, but he should be free to try if he wants to.
    Obama telling a blind black man to not run for office runs against everything he said to the children in his speech to them on the first day of classes. How can he tell children that if they apply themselves they can be anything they want if the president of the United States is going to tell individuals they can't and should not even try to achieve their goals and dreams?
    I long ago realizied that Obama is not even close to being who he pretends to be. It's time the rest of America wakes up before it is too late.

    September 27, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  20. O no you didn't

    He never saw it coming.

    September 27, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  21. Vyker

    Let me get this straight.....If Pres. Bush had suggested that one of only two black governor's not run for re-election...the whole country would be up in arms.

    Since BO made the sugesstion, he is a cool and calculating political genius.

    Why is the federal government getting in the middle of who runs for state office?

    On another note...why would people be fined and/or sent to prison for not having health insurance...but the GITMO bad guys will be let go???

    Personally...I wish the best for New York...only they know who is qualified and they should make the vote. Not me in Texas or a civil servant in Washington DC should have any say in NY state affairs.

    September 27, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  22. Paterson is the Mark Sanford of the Democratic Party

    Hang on to power at all costs, no matter how unpopular you are. Public opinion doesn't matter, just do whatever it takes to hold on to power. Throw your political party under the bus if necessary to keep your government paycheck coming. Treat Caroline Kennedy with disrespect in necessary and turn the state senate into a circus while failing to lead on fiscal responsibility.

    September 27, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  23. Denna

    I feel for Governor Paterson. The negativity being heaped upon him is, I believe, unjust. In view of the man he replaced, it seems to me that he is entitled to his own term to make his own mark. I am slightly surprised that President Obama wants him gone. If not him, then who, unless you want the state to fall into Republican hands. Now THAT would be a tragedy.

    Rachel, that comment was uncalled for. This is a political thing, not a racial thing. Shame on you.

    September 27, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  24. S Callahan

    Well, I have to admire you for you guts to keep a protest going....
    but truth be's not just 'speical interests' who were pissed off about the cuts....I can gather lots of people with disabilities who were targets of your agency Directors mandates through you office...not to mention the nearly were dealing with their bread and butter..and you know how people are when their kitchen table has no food!

    September 27, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  25. Ken in NC

    "I'm blind but I'm not oblivious". Maybe the Gov. needs to take another look. Even Stevie Wonder can see the writing on Gov. Patersons wall.

    September 27, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
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