Pataki on the issues

Foreign Policy: Pataki says the United States should deploy ground troops to defeat ISIL. "Send in troops, destroy their training centers, destroy their recruitment centers, destroy the area where they are looking to plan to attack us here, and then get out," he told CNN last week. He is skeptical of President Obama's efforts to strike a deal with Iran on its nuclear program, saying Obama is "desperate" for an agreement "with the leading state sponsor of terror in the world."

Environment: Long involved in efforts to curb greenhouse-gas emissions and promote green energy, Pataki nevertheless opposes federal mandates to confront global warming by limiting these emissions. He believes in using private and market-based initiatives to reduce emissions.

Immigration: He has supported giving immigrants who are in the country illegally a pathway to citizenship, telling MSNBC that the United States cannot "send 11 million people back in railroad cars and buses and trains."

Same-Sex Marriage: Pataki, who signed into law a gay rights bill when he was governor, has said that Republicans should not focus on issues like same-sex marriage and abortion, calling them "a distraction" that would hurt the party's chance of retaking the White House. He believes the issues are best left to individual states to decide.

Economy and Budget: Upon taking office in 1995, Pataki pushed through an average 20 percent reduction in state income taxes and cuts in state spending. But in his second and third terms, state spending regularly outpaced inflation. He said that if elected president, he would cut the size of the federal workforce by 15 percent by repealing the Affordable Care Act, ending Common Core and curbing the "overreach" of the Environmental Protection Agency. He said he would abandon what he considered an overly complex federal tax code. In the wake of the fatal Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia, he has called for major investments in the rail system, saying, "Don't just throw $10 billion more into Band-Aiding an Amtrak system." He has been involved in pushing for magnetic-levitation high-speed trains for the Northeast Corridor.

New York Times