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Billionaire developer Donald Trump said Wednesday that he will only run for governor of New York if the way is cleared and the Republican Party unifies behind him.
But he again didn’t commit to run even if his conditions were met.
Republican Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino has said he expects to decide in February whether to run against Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
If Astorino does seek the Republican nomination, “I wouldn’t waste my time,” Trump told WGDJ-AM in Albany. “I like Rob. If Rob wants to run, I wish him a lot of luck.” Trump added: “He’s not going to win.”
Trump, however, said he could beat Cuomo.
“I think it’s a race that could be won, but I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t a unified party,” Trump said.
The creator and host of the network TV hit “The Apprentice” criticized state Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox as a party leader who can’t win.
Trump also criticized Cuomo’s leadership of the state. Trump said New York is still too highly taxed and is driving employers and other residents out of state.
Trump also called Cuomo’s Start-Up NY program “stupid.” Trump also said the TV ad promoting the jobs program is “obnoxious” and is nothing but a campaign ad for Cuomo.
Cuomo’s program offers employers 10 years of tax-free existence to set up shop in New York in high-technology and research industries associated with New York colleges.
Trump also criticized Cuomo for recently saying in a public radio interview that there is “no place” in New York for extreme conservative candidates who oppose gay marriage, oppose strict gun control laws, and oppose abortion.
“The people he is catering to in that ad tend to be conservative people,” Trump said. “My views are conservative, but I wouldn’t say overly conservative,” Trump said. “I am very conservative when it comes to fiscal matters.”
Trump said he opposes abortion and opposes Cuomo’s SAFE Act gun control law, but declined to give his view on gay marriage, which Cuomo championed into law in 2011. Trump called it “an evolving issue.”
In a statement, Cox didn’t address Trump’s criticism.
“We’re thrilled that we have two potential candidates for governor who understand that Andrew Cuomo has failed to seriously address the barriers to economic growth in New York state," Cox said in the statement.
Astorino didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.