Updated 09/25/2009 02:44 PM
NY1 Noticias Exclusive: Paterson Denies White House Involvement In Governor's Race
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Governor David Paterson denies having been told by the White House not to run for governor in 2010, in an exclusive interview with NY1 Noticias Political anchor Juan Manuel Benítez.
Watch the complete exclusive interview on NY1 Noticias' weekly political program Pura Política this Friday at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. The interview is also available here.
Paterson dismissed all the recent news reports as gossip and a distraction from the real issue affecting the state: how to close the budget deficit.
"I never got an authorized invitation from the White House not to run for governor," said Paterson in an interview with NY1's sister station. "There was a New York Times article about Congressman [Gregory] Meeks telling me to get out of the race. It never happened. And Congressman Meeks confirmed it on the record. And the two other people at dinner who were with us that evening know that that never happened. No one that was authorized ever told me not to run for governor."
A little more than a day after the stories first broke, Paterson and President Barack Obama awkwardly embraced at an event in upstate New York.
The governor said that the president made him aware of his indignation over the news reports. During that meeting, according to Paterson, Obama never discussed his future with him.
Paterson also denied having said that State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's circle was responsible for leaking the information about the White House not wanting him to run for governor next year.
"I said actually that I had no evidence that Attorney General Cuomo was involved," said the governor. "And I said I couldn't say about people who would be supportive of him, but I didn't think he or his staff were involved at all, and they denied that on the record, and that's actually very helpful."
Paterson did admit to having dreamed about getting to the United States Senate had Secretary of State Hillary Clinton become president. But when time came for him to pick a replacement, he said he decided not to appoint himself, thinking he needed to stay in his current position.