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George Pataki makes case for possible GOP 2016 run

Pataki explores 2016 race

Former New York Gov. George Pataki is laying the groundwork for a possible Republican run for the White House.

In a CNBC interview on Tuesday, Pataki stopped short of announcing a presidential bid but said he can't in good conscience take a pass on the 2016 election when he thinks he can steer the country in the right direction.

"Things are so bad in Washington, so bad around the world, that if you believe in your heart you have the ability to lead a complex government, and not just management but change it, and you sit it out, shame on you," he said on "Squawk Box. "

Pataki said Republicans had a good chance coming out of the nominating process in the 2012 election, but President Barack Obama ran a better campaign than Mitt Romney.

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"I looked at the field the last time and everybody was for Mitt Romney," Pataki said. "I thought Mitt would be a good president but not particularly good candidate. And unfortunately I was right about that."

The former New York governor said he's not going to make that mistake again. Even though there's a wide field of possible GOP candidates from Jeb Bush to Chris Christie to Rand Paul to Marco Rubio, to mention a few names, he said: "I decided it doesn't matter who runs. "

"I know I can win and not just in bright red states. " he continued. "We're going to raise enough [money] to be competitive and get the message out. "

Pataki said he'd make a decision soon on whether to run.

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