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Obama urges Paterson to quit governor race, report says

The president's request is prompted by fears that the unpopular New York governor would be a liability to Democrats, according to the New York Times.

September 20, 2009|From A Times Staff Writer

President Obama is urging embattled New York Gov. David Paterson not to seek a full term, according to a published report Saturday.

Obama's action apparently was prompted by fears that the unpopular governor could prove a liability to other Democrats running for Congress or the state Legislature next fall, according to the New York Times.

The newspaper credited two senior administration officials and a New York Democratic operative for the information, but did not name them.

The Times said the president's request was passed on to Paterson by Rep. Gregory W. Meeks, a Democrat from Queens, who has a strong relationship with the governor.

Neither Paterson nor aides responded to requests for comment Saturday.

The former lieutenant governor is widely viewed as an ineffective leader and one reason the state's government has experienced gridlock for much of this year.

In a Quinnipiac poll last month, voters gave him an approval rating of 30%.

Paterson became governor in March 2008 after Gov. Eliot Spitzer was forced to resign in a prostitution scandal.

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