Paterson To Cuomo: Come Out And Fight Like A Man


paterson-cuomoIt’s hardly a secret that Attorney General Andrew Cuomo intends to run for governor of New York, but a leak from Team Cuomo that he intends to wait two months before making it official has Gov. David Paterson fuming. His message: come out and fight like a man.

“I do think if candidates are running that they should be making their positions clear. I don’t think that anyone should be floating that they’re going to be a candidate and go into the candidate protection program where you can’t ask them questions,” Paterson said.

The governor contends that if Cuomo is going to challenge him, he should explain how he’s going to balance the budget and deal with legislative reforms, and if he doesn’t, “to me, is not commensurate with anyone that thinks they’re going to bring transparency and openness to government in Albany.”

Some think that the reason Team Cuomo wanted it public that he’s running was to see if Paterson will rethink his candidacy. Cuomo is ahead in the polls and in money, with $16 million in the bank, compared to Paterson’s $3 million.

In the wake of the Massachusetts Senate race, could a primary be a bad thing for New York Democrats?

“There’s always time for democracy in this state so if somebody wants to run a primary, they’re certainly welcome to,” Paterson said.

Cuomo agreed.

“If we have primaries, democracy says we have elections. That’s the essence of the system and that is a good thing. That is nothing to run away from,” he said.

The attorney general, however, refused to be drawn into a political tit-for-tat with Paterson. A spokesman said he was concentrating on the job he was elected to do and will focus on politics “at the appropriate time.”

Richard Fife, Paterson’s campaign manager, said of Cuomo: “Since it’s clear Mr. Cuomo is running for governor, it’s time for him to stop ducking the hard questions of how he would close a $7.4 billion deficit, balance the budget and pass ethical and fiscal reforms.”

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