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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Pataki calls some GOP foes 'hypocrites' over religious rights, rule of law

Former New York Gov. George Pataki, a candidate

Former New York Gov. George Pataki, a candidate for the GOP nomination for president, on Sept. 19, 2015. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Steve Pope

LEBANON, N.H. - Former New York Gov. George Pataki is taking another swing through New Hampshire and another swing at some of his Republican rivals Monday, saying some were hypocrites for supporting the "rule of law" only when it fits their beliefs.

Pataki, a long shot for the GOP nomination, penned a column in the Concord Monitor as he began a two-day trip through the Granite State, where he's been concentrating his efforts. In the piece, Pataki said he was "stunned by those seeking our party's nomination that defend placing one's religious beliefs above the law, when they dislike the law being ignored."

He was referring to the case of Kim Davis, the county clerk in Kentucky who was jailed briefly for refusing to process marriage licenses for gay and lesbian couples. Pataki has said repeatedly that public officials such as Davis can't pick and choose what laws to uphold and that he would have sought to fire her for not carrying out the duties of her office.

"Several of my fellow presidential candidates have championed her 'courage' to defy the law on same-sex marriage as handed down by our nation's highest court," Pataki wrote. "While others have said that, as president, they too would defy the law. This is both wrong and dangerous."

Pataki said that if Republicans were going to call out President Barack Obama for what they see as violating the law by passing Senate ratification of the Iran nuclear treaty, they can't also applaud Davis' actions.

"Shockingly, many of the same people railing against the president's unconstitutional actions say they'd disregard our system of government just as quickly if they found a law they don't like," Pataki said. "That is a slippery slope to lawlessness."

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