George Pataki Discusses (or Fails to Discuss) Nuclear Weapons in Hooksett
I asked presidential candidate and former New York Gov. George Pataki a couple of questions at Robie’s Country Store in Hooksett on June 24. Here is a summary of the substance of our exchange, though the words are not exact.
Question (1-on-1): Do you agree with the program to rebuild U.S. nuclear weapons and delivery systems?
Pataki: I’m more concerned about Iran and keeping them from getting nuclear weapons.
Question: But do you support the $1 trillion plan to build a new generation of nuclear weapons and delivery systems?
Pataki: I believe we need to spend what’s required to keep us safe. (Turns away.)
Followup question: I asked you earlier about nuclear weapons. Our nuclear weapons labs are privately run now. The corporations that run them – Bechtel, Lockheed, & so on – are making immense profits and the budgets are escalating. How do we diminish the control of corporations over federal policy?
Pataki: First, I’m not surprised about the huge amount of waste. That happens with everything the government is involved in. We need to eliminate government waste. Second, we need to change the ability of private interests to influence government. There are over 400 former members of Congress who are registered lobbyists. Also the tax code is incomprehensible. If I’m President, I’ll propose a law with a life-time ban on anyone who has served a term in Congress becoming a registered lobbyist.
More of Pataki’s comments on international relations, military spending and security policy:
• We should strengthen our military, not so that we use it but so that we don’t have to use it. A strong America is a safe America.
• Obama is too weak and needs to follow through on his threats. Allies don’t trust us, enemies don’t fear us.
• The Iranian nuclear deal is too weak.
• We should support the Egyptian regime that cracked down on the Islamic Brotherhood.
• We shouldn’t cut back on military training funds to save money.
Pataki doesn’t seem at all fazed by the $1 trillion nuclear weapons spending plan. It was curious that when questioned about the huge profits and cost overruns created by the private contractors who run our nuclear weapons labs, Pataki blamed the problem on “big government.” Come again???