Chris Christie Angers George Pataki by Not Supporting Rob Astorino

Monday, 04 Aug 2014 06:52 PM

By Greg Richter

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Former New York Gov. George Pataki is angry that a fellow Republican, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, isn't backing another Republican, Rob Astorino, in his bid to unseat Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Christie also serves as head of the Republican Governors Association and has decided not to put money toward the race. With Astorino 37 points down in the polls, Christie has said the RGA doesn't "invest in lost causes."

But Pataki, appearing Monday on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto," said it's too early to count Astorino out. He pointed to his own race in 1994, in which he came from behind to beat three-term Gov. Mario Cuomo, father of the current governor.

"I knew that I could win, and I think Rob can win," Pataki said, noting that Astorino has gotten Democrats to vote for him in heavily Democratic Westchester County, where he serves as county executive.

"He got massive numbers of Democrats to vote for him," Pataki said. "He won, and then was re-elected in a landslide."

Pataki is also unhappy that other Republicans aren't lending support. Top names in the New York GOP, such as former U.S. Sen. Alfonse D'Amato and ex-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, have either endorsed Cuomo or stayed neutral, according to the New York Daily News.

"I would hope that all Republicans would get behind Rob and hope that he wins," Pataki told Cavuto. "He's our guy, and he has the right policies and positions for our state."

Pataki said he understands the RGA has to save its money for competitive races, but doesn't think it should be writing off races in mid-summer "because things can change in three weeks in an election."

He said he hopes the organization looks at Astorino again in October, and if there still is a wide gap he would understand not backing him.

Pataki also noted that Christie's "lost causes" comment was made a day before the New York Times ran a front-page story on U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara investigating Cuomo over how he has handled the Moreland anti-corruption commission.

Pataki supported Christie in his 2012 bid for president, but was noncommittal when asked if he'll do so again.

He also declined to characterize Christie as vindictive and would not go along with Cavuto's theory that Christie might have an "understanding" with Cuomo because the two get along.

Christie has stopped responding to questions about Astorino, but campaigned last week for New Hampshire gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein even though he is 26 points behind Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan.

"I don't have the juice to take a 37-point race and make it competitive," Christie said. "You know who does? The candidate."

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