Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics

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Gov. Cuomo: Conservative 'extreme' has 'no place' in NY politics; updated

Just imagine for a moment if Haley Barbour or Rick Perry said: “Do you support abortion rights? Do you support same-sex marriage? Do you support gun control? Then, you have no place in this state because that's not who we are.”

Those remarks would be ripe for some mocking exposure on MSNBC.

Well, in Albany on Friday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was on the radio with on WCNY’s “Capitol Pressroom” with Susan Arbetter, and the discussion came around to the New York State Republican Party. Cuomo was asked about GOP chairman Ed Cox’s advising his party colleagues to refrain from backing the Democratic governor for re-election.

Cuomo said of the party: “Who are they? Are they these extreme conservative, right to life, pro assault weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are, and if they are the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York.” (emphasis added).

The re-election-oriented governor continued: “Because that’s not who New Yorkers are. If they are moderate Republicans, like in the Senate right now, who control the Senate — moderate Republicans have a place in this state.”

Interesting. Did the governor become a bit, uh, extreme in his critique of extremists?

Dennis Poust, spokesman for the state Catholic Conference, tweeted this response soon afterward: “My governor thinks there’s no place in NY for people like me. Can I get a state grant to relocate?”

UPDATE: Friends the governor are hastening to add that he made these remarks in the context of talking about Republican office-seekers — and how they choose to campaign going forward.  They point to these statements which he also made during the same discussion:

"This is [about] who are they? And who is going to win between the conservative Republicans, the extremely conservative Republicans and the moderately conservative Republicans. And literally look at the issues that they pick, are we right to life or are we pro-choice?

"Well if you are right to life, that is your opinion and that’s your religious belief, that is fine but that is not the opinion of this state, which 70 percent are pro-choice in this state. 'Well, we are anti-gun control' that is fine. Seventy percent of this state wants intelligent gun control.

“ 'We don’t agree with gay marriage, we are anti-gay',' that is fine but 70 percent of this state about, is now pro-gay marriage so figure out who you are and figure out if you are of a extreme conservative philosophy and if you can survive in this state.

"And the answer is no."

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