Updated 09/21/2009 07:27 PM
Obama Addresses Economy, With Paterson At His Side
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Governor David Paterson was face-to-face with President Barack Obama Monday, amid reports the president is urging Paterson to drop out of the 2010 gubernatorial race.
Paterson attended Obama's speech on the economy at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, NY.
Obama spoke about the need for funding entrepreneurship and education. He also touched on the need for health care reform to alleviate the burden on small businesses.
"From biotechnology to nanotechnology, from the development of new forms of energy to research into treatments of ancient diseases, there is so much potential to change our world and improve our lives – while creating countless jobs all across America," he said. "The question is if we are ready to embrace that potential, if we are ready to lead the way once more. And I know that we are ready."
Upon the president's arrival at Albany International Airport, he was greeted by Paterson, whom he embraced. They spoke briefly and then the president moved on.
They also had a wordless exchange just before the speech. The president began his address by acknowledging Paterson, calling him a "wonderful man."
"First of all a wonderful man, the governor of the great state of New York David Paterson is in the house," Obama said.
However, Obama also mentioned Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, who many believe will run against Paterson.
The governor said yesterday that he still plans to run for a full term next year, despite reports that the White House told him not to, because of his growing unpopularity.
Reports say the Obama administration and Democratic Party leaders are concerned a Paterson run could hurt New York's other Democratic candidates next year.
Speaking at the 40th annual African American Day Parade in Harlem Sunday, Paterson said he has not spoken to the president. Paterson said he has had a number of private conversations with people, but he would not elaborate.
"I'm not talking about any specific conversations. As I said, I am running for office. I'm not going to discuss confidential conversations," he said. "The most important issue that I'm trying to focus on for the next month is the unprecedented deficit that we have mid-year and that we have the fewest means to address it."