The former New York governor was asked about the report that Bush's campaign is cutting salaries across the board as a belt-tightening measure on CNN's "At This Hour With Berman and Bolduan" on Friday.
Pataki said he knows something about tight belts.
"You see many of the candidates now slashing their spending, reducing their staff -- and I kind of chuckle, because they had all this money to begin with," Pataki told CNN's Kate Bolduan.
Last quarter, Pataki raised
about $150,000 and only had $13,000 cash on hand at the end of September. Bush, meanwhile, raised $13.4 million and had more than $10 million on hand.
Bush's campaign is cutting payroll costs by 40%, according to internal campaign documents obtained Friday by CNN.
Pataki couldn't help but notice some irony.
"Everybody goes, 'How long, Pataki, can you stay in this?' We've been running on a bare bones campaign from the beginning," he said.
The Republican also noted new Iowa polling
that showed Ben Carson pulling ahead of front-runner Donald Trump.
"I think it just is an indication that it is still wide open," Pataki said. "Everybody thought Jeb was going to be the front-runner, and he's not. Donald Trump now has gone down and Carson has gone up in Iowa. I think it's wide open."
Pataki has been barely registering in the polls in a crowded race.