The former New York governor made the official announcement on his website Thursday

By Tierney McAfee
May 28, 2015 10:35 AM

Former New York governor George Pataki announced on Thursday that he will be seeking the Republican nomination for President of the United States of America.

“It is time to stand up, protect our freedom and take back this government,” he said in a video released on his official website.

Pataki, 69, was governor of New York on the day of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and he explained that he witnessed the tragedy bringing citizens closer together.

“We understood we were all Americans who had been attacked and were to rise up together, and we did,” he said in the video. “We need to recapture that spirit, that sense that we are one people. When we do, we will stop empowering politicians and empower ourselves with the opportunities to have an unlimited bright future.”

Pataki joins a long list of fellow Republican candidates, including former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum.

In a recent appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Pataki said the thing that sets him apart from his many fellow Republican presidential nominees is “the ability to appeal beyond just a Republican electorate, to win in a state like New York.”

“We had John McCain, Mitt Romney, they would have been good presidents, but they couldn’t win,” Pataki said. “You have to appeal to the Republican vote, but you also have to appeal to moderates and conservative Democrats and I’ve shown that I can do that.”