Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Andrew Cuomo, Cynthia Nixon face off in testy debate

Cynthia Nixon and Andrew Cuomo Modal Trigger Cynthia Nixon and Andrew Cuomo Getty Images
| 30 August, 2018, 16:28

Cuomo, who is seeking a third term this year, had begun his first and only debate with Nixon by promising not to run for president. The crowd was animated and responsive as the opponents interrupted each other during particularly passionate moments of the debate.

"Excuse me, can you stop interrupting", Cuomo exclaimed.

Nixon also hit Cuomo on his experience, saying "I'm not an Albany insider like Governor Cuomo, but I think that experience doesn't mean that much if you're not actually good at governing".

"As soon as you do", Cuomo said back, before moving forward to finish answering the question. Nixon, who is unlikely to have another chance to debate Cuomo before the September 13 primary, responded with scorn and bafflement.

Cynthia Nixon speaks at the Democratic gubernatorial primary debate, August 29, 2018, at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.

During the debate, Cuomo promised that he would serve the full four-year term if re-elected and not seek a White House bid in 2020.

"The government is not about politics, it's not about advocacy; it's about doing", Cuomo said. "The subway system is owned by New York City". "He is trying to change the rights and the values of New Yorkers and the first line of defense is NY and the governor leads that fight".

With Nixon making marijuana legalization a key part of her campaign, moderator Maurice DuBois asked her: What would you say to parents trying to keep their children away from drugs? Nixon shot back that she released one year of taxes when she first entered the race, more than Cuomo did in 2010.


Nixon said New Yorkers should vote for her because she was a longtime champion of causes such as abortion access, better funding for schools and equal rights for gay and lesbian people.

Cuomo responded that no one has been more aggressive against Trump than him, and at a later point added, "There is only one corporate Democrat on this stage". She couldn't just "snap her fingers" and enact policies like ethics reform, he said.

"And you're a corporation", said Cuomo. Cuomo and Nixon disagreed on sports betting, with the governor remaining open to legalizing it and Nixon opposing it outright, though neither had the chance to offer more detail. Right at the start, Cuomo said that part of the job of New York's governor is to "fight Donald Trump, who is the main risk to the state of NY".

She said Cuomo was either complicit or ignorant about what was going on in his administration. "Working men and women don't have corporations", Cuomo said.

Nixon interjected, saying it's common for actors to form an S corporation. "Are you a corporation?"

Nixon sent Parker's email to "several people" within Mayor Bill de Blasio's office, and his chief of staff said he'd look into it, according to the news outlet.

Jon Campbell is an Albany correspondent for the USA TODAY Network's Albany Bureau.

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