Republican U.S. presidential candidate and former New York Gov. George Pataki (R) answers a question from debate moderator and CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer (L) during a forum for lower polling candidates held before the Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nevada Dec. 15, 2015. Reuters

Former New York Gov. George Pataki is still running for president. That's right. He is polling at the bottom of the pack of Republican candidates and he hasn't held office for years, but he doesn't want voters to count him out just yet.

So what is Pataki's big plan to win over Republican primary voters? Well, he'd start by punching Russian President Vladimir Putin in the face. "Putin a bully and the most important and effective thing you can do to a bully is punch him in the face," Pataki said Tuesday during an undercard Republican debate hosted by CNN in Las Vegas.

Pataki's snappy policy proposal comes as tensions between the U.S. and Russia remain high over conflicts in Syria and Ukraine. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Putin in Moscow on Tuesday and said the U.S. and Russia see the conflict in Syria between Syrian rebels and the Assad regime "fundamentally very similarly."

“The United States and its partners are not seeking so-called regime change as it is known in Syria,” Kerry said in a news conference inside the Kremlin, adding that Syrian President Bashar Assad has no possibility of remaining the country’s leader in the future. He went on: "Despite the different positions of our countries, we have shown that Russia and the United States are moving in the same direction." Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the talks “substantive.”

During the debate Tuesday for low-polling candidates, Pataki squared off against former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. The discussion largely focused on the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria and national security.

"We're in a war we cannot afford to lose," Graham said in condemning the Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for recent attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California. Huckabee said Americans have "lost confidence in our government" to fight terrorism.

Pataki remains well known in New York, a Democratic-voting state where he was a three-term Republican governor. He last held office in 2006.