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George Pataki announces presidential bid

Former New York Gov. George Pataki announces his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination May 28, 2015 in Exeter, New Hampshire.

Darren McCollester, Getty Images

George Pataki, the former three-term governor of New York, officially launched his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Pataki is the eighth GOP candidate to officially enter the 2016 race.

Out of office since 2006, Pataki doesn't even register in a new Republican 2016 Quinnipiac poll. Still, Pataki made the case that his experience has equipped him "to preserve and protect" American freedoms he sees at risk "from an ever more powerful, ever more intrusive government in Washington."

Pataki reminded the crowd that he was governor of New York during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He mentioned the attacks on three separate occasions to illustrate his experience and explain his policy positions.

"We will not spend a trillion dollars or a decade nation building overseas," he said. "But, I will never forget the lesson of September 11th. We will destroy radical Islam's ability to attack us over there, before they have the chance to attack us here."

He also touted his leadership of New York to cast himself as fiscally responsible.

"In 12 years, New York went from a state with the highest tax burden, the lowest credit rating, and billions of dollars in deficits, to a state with $143 billion in lower taxes, billions in surplus, and its highest credit rating in generations," he said. "All it took was for me to get government out of the people's way."

Pataki laid out some of his policy proposals, including banning members of Congress from ever lobbying. "If you serve one day, you are banned -- go home," he said.

He promised to repeal Obamacare, end Common Core, "throw out an incomprehensible tax code," lower taxes on manufacturers, shrink the federal workforce and fire "corrupt" IRS employees.

The former governor also took a couple jabs at the Democratic frontrunner, Hillary Clinton

"Our justice department will treat all fairly, and uphold the Constitution," he said. "No one will be above the law, not even if you are a former secretary of state whose name happens to be Clinton."