George Pataki Says He Would Not Have Invaded Iraq In 2003

For George Pataki, hindsight is twenty-twenty. At least, that’s what Pataki alluded when he talked about the 2003 decision to invade Iraq.

During an interview on, Pataki said that, looking back, the decision to invade Iraq was not the correct decision.

“I had no doubt we had to go after those that attacked us. But they were in Afghanistan. It was al-Qaeda. It wasn’t Iraq. So knowing what we know now, I would not have made that decision.”

Pataki’s comments are significant because on Thursday, he announced his intention to run for the Republican presidential nomination. In a crowded Republican field, George Pataki has been one of the only candidates to take a hard stance on the Iraq invasion.

In addition to criticizing the choice to invade Iraq, George Pataki also criticized President Barack Obama’s handling of the war and said that Obama pulled troops out of the country too soon.

“It was clearly something — the consequences of that have now resulted in ISIS being in control of significant parts of Iraq …When we left, we created a void. ISIS has filled that void.”

Of course, it’s easy for Pataki to take a hard line on the Iraq War now that he’s seen the fallout of the decisions made. Whether he would have made the same decision in 2003 is up for debate.

In 2003, Pataki was serving as the governor of New York state, an office he was elected to in 1995. Partaki continued to hold that office until 2006 and, for the most part, has been out of politics ever since until the 69-year-old decided to jump back in for the primary.

In criticizing the handling of the Iraq War, Pataki differentiates himself from the crowded and growing field of candidates who have declared their intentions to run for the GOP bid. Since announcing his candidacy on Thursday, Pataki has been consistently called a long shot for the nomination who has very little national support.

During the interview with Jorge Ramos, Pataki did more than just separate himself from the field of Republican candidates — he also took a shot at Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton when he reminded voters that she was the secretary of state at the time Obama chose to pull troops out of Iraq.

What do you think of Pataki’s comments regarding the Iraq War? Do you think George Pataki would have felt the same way if he’d been president instead of governor when the decision was made to invade Iraq?

[Photo by Darren McCollester / Getty Images]