Spin Cycle

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Guv Race: Cuomo explains absence from gay marriage fight

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo today again reiterated his pledge that legalizing same-sex marriage will be "a major priority" in his administration should be win next Tuesday.

In a discussion -- after his Sunday morning appearance at a Yonkers church service -- about why he would prefer the state Senate in Democratic control, Cuomo offered on social issues he is more aligned with Senate Democrats than Republicans. He then blamed Republicans for the failure in the Senate of last year's gay marriage vote.

"If people want to know what races I have been involved in actively, those are people who support my agenda," Cuomo said. "I believe it was a Republican Senate that basically stopped it last time and I think it’s a priority for the state."

Reminded that the Democrats, in fact, controlled the state Senate when gay marriage fell on a 38-24 vote last December, Cuomo said: "Yeah, but if you look at where the votes were lost, you didn’t have all the Democrats but you had virtually none of the Republicans."

Since then, there has been much angst and hand-wringing about Cuomo's general absence from the lobbying on-the-fence senators over the vote. We then reminded him of this, and Cuomo said: "There were complaints, yeah, but your point is what?"

Us: "You say now that it's going to be a priority."

Cuomo: "I wasn't the governor last year, I was the attorney general. Hopefully next year I'll be the governor and the governor has the ability to lobby, I think effectively, in the Senate."

NY1's Grace Rauh: "You could have lobbied as attorney general." 

Cuomo: "It was my position, I advocated, I supported, but you're the attorney general, you're not the governor. In a situation like that there's no doubt that the governor has much more force and effect. It was the governor’s agenda item. It was his fight. Yes, the attorney general can be supportive, but the governor can be much more supportive."

Tags: Andrew Cuomo , Grace Rauh , gay marriage , Yonkers , governor's race , blaming Republicans

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