"One of the great challenges of government, especially today, is to include people with different opinions and different perspectives and still move forward, right?" said Cuomo, often mentioned as a possible 2016 presidential hopeful. "Have a discussion, understand and appreciate different opinions, but at the end of the day, come together in a way that allows the collective to move forward."
He added: "We've seen the alternative in Washington. We've seen what gridlock can do -- people choose to argue rather than find compromise. ... Everybody loses because, literally, you just don't move forward."
Pataki, who ousted Cuomo's father, Mario Cuomo, as governor in 1994, said: "It's hard to say this calmly, but government has to work. When you look at what's happened in Washington, it's extremely sad for this country."
Cuomo and Pataki spoke at an event in which the governor announced a new state tax commission that will be co-chaired by Pataki and another past political rival, former state Comptroller Carl McCall, a Democrat.
The commission will look at reducing state business and property taxes starting next year.
"I have to confess that when I got the call from Governor Cuomo I wasn't sure he dialed the right number," Pataki said, drawing laughter.