Cuomo Ads Attack Astorino as 'Right-Wing Nut'

Image: Cuomo Ads Attack Astorino as 'Right-Wing Nut' New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, left, and Republican challenger Rob Astorino.

Monday, 10 Mar 2014 03:41 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is going on the attack against his Republican challenger Rob Astorino in a negative advertising campaign labeling him a "right-wing nut,"  the New York Post reports, quoting sources.

The commercials, which will be targeted at women in particular, are hoping to convince moderate and independent voters that Astorino, the Westchester County executive, has "extreme" conservative views on abortion, gay marriage and gun rights.

Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf said he thought Cuomo planned to unveil a series of attack ads costing about $10 million. "The best way to deal with Rob Astorino is to bury him as a right-wing nut out of the mainstream . . . who cannot compete in any way with the Cuomo record."

Astorino announced his gubernatorial candidacy last week for the November election, and as part of his agenda he planned to take aim at Cuomo’s controversial recent comments that "right-to-life, pro-assault weapons, anti-gay" Republicans "have no place in New York."

Astorino spokeswoman Jessica Proud told the Post, "Cuomo is saying out of one side of his mouth that he doesn’t know that Rob is going to be the candidate against him, and at the same time spending $10 million on air attacking us."

She was referring to comments made last week by the governor that real estate and publishing mogul Donald Trump could end up as the GOP nominee.

Trump has said he would enter the race as long as he doesn’t have to run in a Republican primary. But the state’s Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long said Trump isn’t serious about running and he’s prepared to support Astorino.

Astorino, who won re-election in Westchester last November in a county that voted two-to-one Democratic, joined the race for governor after being assured he would receive $15 million in campaign contributions against Cuomo. But the governor is expected to raise $40 million for the election.

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