February 20th, 2010
04:41 PM ET
10 years ago

Paterson kicks off campaign, vows not to quit


Gov. David Paterson, D-New York, launched a bid for his own term Saturday. (Getty Images)

(CNN) - Embattled New York Gov. David Paterson formally kicked off a bid for his own gubernatorial term Saturday, vowing to prove political observers wrong who say he has little chance at escaping a Democratic primary.

“So many people are saying I shouldn’t run for governor,” Paterson said at a rally at New York's Hofstra University, where he obtained his law degree. “But you need to know that this is a governor that does not quit.”

"The politicians and pundits…they want to know how you are doing in antiseptic polls before a campaign has even been run and they want to know how much money you've collected from the special interests and the Albany insiders," Paterson continued. "Well here's a news flash for the media: The special interests don't like me."

Watch excerpts of Paterson's speech after the jump

Recent polls suggest Paterson lags nearly 40 points behind his likely primary opponent, state Attorney Gen. Andrew Cuomo. Paterson is also at a significant financial disadvantage with $3 million cash-on-hand compared to Cuomo's $16 million, according to The New York Times. Cuomo, the son of former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, has yet to formally say if he will challenge Paterson.

During the 20-minute speech in front of supporters, Paterson also denounced what he described as a recent smear campaign from "tabloid newspapers."

"This governor is not going to quit because tabloid newspapers print rumors and innuendo and lies all the time waving the banner of a newspaper that could have cleared up the facts and chose not to do so," he said.

The comments are an apparent reference to a Times article published Friday painting the governor as an aloof and unpredictable executive who has often chosen cocktail parties and other social functions over his gubernatorial duties. Paterson's office strongly denied the article's allegations Friday morning.

"By the way, this is not a John McCain campaign strategy, this is an American trying out for justice as any American placed in this position would have," added Paterson, in a reference to the McCain campaign's sharp criticisms of the media's coverage - particularly that of The New York Times - during the Arizona senator's 2008 presidential bid.

Paterson took office in March 2008 after then-Gov. Elliot Spitzer resigned amid a sex scandal.

Filed under: David Paterson • New York
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Scott, Tucson

    Well the solution is obvious, Patterson should request that obama comes to his state and campaign for him...that ought to do the trick, for any Challenger that is.

    February 20, 2010 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  2. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    This makes no sense for Paterson knowing he is now serving as a governor who wasn't elected and knowing Cuomo without a doubt will win.

    February 20, 2010 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  3. jules sand-perkins

    Not long ago we thought Govenor Paterson might not seek election because President Obama didn't want him–clearly, of course, another example of racism, this time from our prejudiced POTUS.
    Now, it seems that US citizens may not want the President back for another term.
    If I were Govenor Paterson, I'd hang in there!
    He may have a better chance than any Democratic gubernatorial candidate with President Obama's blessing.

    February 20, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  4. Betty

    That is right Patterson!!!! I would love to see your behind taken out of the race too!!! So you go right ahead and make a run for another term, it will be fun to watch you squirm like so many others are going to do. It is finally time now for Obama and all of his lefties be shown what it takes to run an honest race, Obama as well as you do not have an honest bone in your bodies... The only thing you have in your favor is that no doubt you are an American citizen, that is more than can be said honestly with Obama, he turns my stomach, but, I still have lots to complete before I get a copy of his original birth certificate, oh but it will be soooo soon. I can hardly wait.....Betty

    February 20, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  5. cph9680

    So long, Patterson! Another one to bite the dust.

    February 20, 2010 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  6. Kelley Hannah, Knoxville, TN

    I may not live in New York but I applaud Governor Patterson to standing up for his rights. Obama is a one term president hopefully and all the Democrats are running scared at this point. If they put through the health care bill on a reconciliation process they'd better run for the hills or decide not to run for reelection. The just don't 'get it' yet. We don't want any more of their spending, their bills, their taxes. We the People are taking back America.

    February 20, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  7. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    I will definitely vote for him, and probably campaign for him too. He has done the best that he can to DEMAND a balanced budget, to insist that the legislature declare itself and DO THE PEOPLE'S BUSINESS.
    He wants to make the State, and therefore, the Nation a better place.

    February 20, 2010 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  8. chsw

    Not only will Gov. Paterson campaign against the NY Times, but he will also become the first prominent Democrat to campaign against Obama and his policies. Patterson may well lose the primary, but it will be much closer than what the polls show.

    February 20, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  9. CJ Joseph

    Good for him, he has the right to run ...he doesn't have to listen to that incompetent in the White House ! Obama should shut his big yap and try not to completely demolish the Democratic party.

    February 20, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  10. Hugo

    “So many people are saying I shouldn’t run for governor,” Paterson said at a rally at New York's Hofstra University, where he obtained his law degree. “But you need to know that this is a governor that does not quit.”
    Do you think he has seen the light? Another typical Democrat lawyer elitist politician, lawyers are the scourge of the earth I tell you! Are there any Democratic politicians that aren't lawyers?

    February 20, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  11. Run Patty Run

    Please run, with everything that has been going wrong recently, like have you seen the line up on TV this season, we really need something comical to watch.

    February 20, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  12. valwayne

    Its hard to understand why the White House has tried so hard to get Gov Patterson out? And its hard to understand where all those rumors came from, but it seems similar to what Hillary had to contend with!!!

    February 20, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |

    Lady Gaga has a better chance to win this highly-coveted office
    than you, Patterson. Stay in by all means. Run and watch as the
    GOP sweeps everything.

    February 20, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  14. Albo58

    Let the Dimwits fight it out among themselves, then hopefully a Republican can swoop in and take it! The state of New York can't afford a Democrat governor right now (if ever)!

    February 20, 2010 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  15. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Never stop believing in yourself David.The new age brown shirts like Scott and Betty,who are one and the same,are losers that want our country to fail.

    February 20, 2010 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  16. Preston kk

    Pkm im a dem but with como running think of your party you have to many issues against you como will eat you up and spit you out

    February 21, 2010 03:40 am at 3:40 am |