ALBANY—The David Paterson that showed up for a live interview on Meet the Press was defiant, clear that he was running for governor in 2010 and insistent that he is focused on the state's mid-year budget deficit.
Appearing live at the end of the nationally televised program, Paterson was first grilled by host David Gregory as to what conversations had taken place between the governor and the White House, reading a headline from last Sunday's New York Times about Obama administration officials asking Paterson not to seek election in 2010.
"I have had confidential conversations with the White House; I'm not going to reveal what those conversations were other than to say that the president has never told me not to run for governor," Paterson said. Gregory asked if the message was explicit that he did not have support from the White House, and Paterson responded "I don't know."
"The White House has a country to run, and I have a state to run," Paterson said. "I'm blind but I'm not oblivious. I realize that there are people who don't want me to run. But I have never gotten an explicit indication authorized from the White House that I shouldn't run. But what I would say is that what I think I should be doing is managing the affairs of my state, and when I run making my case to the people and letting them decide who the next governor should be."
He then repeated that he is running for governor in 2010.