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Hours before Obama's arrival, ex-Gov. Pataki criticizes president's stimulus program

Former Gov. George Pataki is proud President Barack Obama wants to recognize the success of the nanotechnology college in Albany, but contends that only Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney could re-create the example on a national stage.

The model in Albany demonstrates what a failure Obama's stimulus efforts have been, Pataki said in a conference call this morning. "We did the opposite pretty much of what President Obama has done. We didn't give a grant to a company," he said, describing the president's stimulus effort in 2009 as a "bogus trillion-dollar" investment.

“What we did at Albany was empower the private sector," Pataki said.

Reminiscing about the creation of the nanotechnology college, he declined to take sole credit for its development, but New York State Republican Chairman Ed Cox, who was also on the call, spoke up for Pataki's role 10 years ago. Since the president's trip was announced, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have both highlighted their role in advancing the site's efforts.

Asked about the decision to skip GlobalFoundries, Pataki said that was Obama's right and noted that he would have been proud with a visit there. He didn't acknowledge the idea that the Fab 8 complex was developed with the type of stimulus efforts for which he was attacking Obama.

Unlike the president's investment in Solyndra, Pataki said, it wasn't a "pig in a poke." The package, for what was then AMD required a high-level of investment from the company and certain job metrics.

Follow @GazettePolitics for all the news from President Barack Obama's trip today.

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