Cuomo: Pro-Lifers 'Have No Place' in New York

Image: Cuomo: Pro-Lifers 'Have No Place' in New York

Saturday, 18 Jan 2014 12:02 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Conservative Republicans have no place in New York with their right-wing views because "that's not what New Yorkers are," Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo says.

"Who are they?" Cuomo said on Albany's The Capitol Pressroom radio show Friday, reports the New York Post.

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"Right-to-life, pro-assault weapons, anti-gay — if that's who they are, they have no place in the state of New York because that's not who New Yorkers are," he continued.

Cuomo said his words don't extend to moderate Republicans, such as those in the state Senate, who he believes "have a place in their state."

Further, Cuomo complained that Republicans with "extreme" views create an identity crisis for their own party, and give people more to worry about than himself or other Democrats.

"Their problem isn't me and the Democrats; their problem is themselves," said Cuomo.

Further, he said conservative Republicans' views are out of step with most New Yorkers' and said the GOP needs to back moderates to win seats this fall.

"You have a schism within the Republican Party,” Cuomo said. "They’re searching to define their soul. That’s what’s going on . . . It’s a mirror of what’s going on in Washington."

Michael Long, who heads the state Conservative Party, told The Buffalo News that Cuomo's rhetoric went too far.

"For him to try to paint people who have different points of view that they are odd and extreme, I think is bad language for the governor of the state of New York," said Long.

He said he also thought it was curious that Cuomo's comments concerned internal strife, when Democrats are also facing infighting.

Cuomo officials said the governor's remarks were aimed at "extremist" conservative candidates and not the general population, the Buffalo paper reports.

The officials also noted that Cuomo said in his interview that it is "fine" if conservative Republicans oppose abortion, gun control, and gay marriage — but their positions are out of step with 70 percent of New Yorkers.

"I guess the governor believes if you don’t believe the way he does, there’s not room in what he thinks is his state," said Long.

"I believe this state is made up of men and women from Niagara Falls to Montauk Point who have all sorts of views, some who believe in the Second Amendment, some who believe in traditional marriage, some who believe government, especially in New York State, spends too much money and taxes are too high."

And even though Cuomo didn't name names, Buffalo's Carl Paladino, who ran unsuccessfully against Cuomo in 2010, has threatened to campaign against moderate Republicans in Albany as well as against Cuomo.

Paladino Friday called Cuomo's remarks the thoughts "of a liberal elitist ... who thinks New York is his little play toy."

Further, Paladino accused Cuomo of being "narcissistic," saying the governor was illustrating what kind of person he is.

"He doesn’t believe in debate or opposition," Paladino said.

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