Pataki to Iowa Saturday amid talk of presidential bid

CNN Wire Service

George Pataki heads to Iowa Saturday to speak at a major GOP gathering amid word that the former New York governor is getting serious about making a run for the Republican presidential nomination.

A Polk County Republican official told CNN that Pataki will speak Saturday at the group’s GOP picnic, which will be held at the Iowa State fairgrounds in Des Moines. The official also says he was told by Pataki’s office that the former three-term governor “would have something to say” about a presidential bid. An aide close to Pataki confirmed the former governor will attend the event.

This comes as advisers close to Pataki say he is seriously considering jumping into the race for the White House. Earlier this year Pataki launched a political action committee, No American Debt. He has also made numerous trips to Iowa, which kicks off the caucus and primary calendar, and New Hampshire, which votes second in the race for the nomination.

Pataki flirted with a run for the GOP nomination in the 2008 cycle, making a number of trips to the early voting states, but he eventually decided against a bid. Earlier this year he ruled out a run in 2012, but then reversed himself. Pataki was elected governor of New York in 1994 and re-elected in 1998 and 2002.

Many GOP strategists give Pataki, a more moderate Republican from the Northeast, little chance of winning the nomination if he jumps into the campaign.

Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who’s making his third run for the presidency, and Rep. Thad McCotter of Michigan, who launched a presidential bid earlier this summer, are also scheduled to speak at the Polk County GOP picnic.