Washington is a "corrupt insider game," former New York Gov. George Pataki said Wednesday.
"We need an outsider to run our party and run the next election. Washington has become a corrupt insider game," he said in the preliminary Republican debate hosted by CNBC.
Pataki said during his tenure as governor, he reduced state government by cutting jobs and taxes.
"But I understand that to change Washington you have to understand government as well. You can't just be an outsider, you can't just be someone who throws stones at Washington, you have to be someone who can actually bring people together across party lines. I can do that," he added.
Wednesday marked the third Republican primary debate.
The latest Monmouth University poll — released Monday — showed Ben Carson leading in Iowa by double digits over Donald Trump.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal spoke about his own efforts to cut down on state government. "Let's shrink the government economy, let's grow the American economy."
Former Sen. Rick Santorum made the distinction between reducing state and federal governments.
"I'm the one who has actually gone to Washington, said we would shrink government, said we would shake things up and actually delivered for the conservative cause."