ALBANY — Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro is blasting Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s increasing turns to the political left as “disingenuous” and “transactional.”
Cuomo’s campaign countered that Molinaro was a “rabid” Republican who was “trying to turn back the clock” on progress New York has made.
Molinaro said Cuomo, a Democrat, cast himself as a centrist who could work with Republicans when he first ran for office. (Among other things, Cuomo froze spending, threatened workforce layoffs and enacted a property-tax cap.) That contrasts with Cuomo’s actions since the actress Cynthia Nixon announced she’d challenge him for the Democratic nomination, Molinaro said.
“It seems to me that’s a bit disingenuous. It was only seven years ago he was trying to outmaneuver the right. Now, he’s trying to outmaneuver the left,” Molinaro said at the New York State Federation of Republican Women breakfast Monday.
Molinaro, the Dutchess County executive and the front-runner for the GOP nomination, called Cuomo an “angrily transactional” governor.
“I think it’s a style of leadership that has no principles,” Molinaro said. “It’s extremely transactional.”
Cuomo has endorsed more high-profile progressive issues in his second term than his first and has continued the trend once Nixon entered the race in March. Since then, he’s signed an executive order to allow parolees to vote, pushed a study about marijuana legalization, announced initiatives to address the high maternity-mortality rate among black women and, after years of criticism, forced an end to a split among state Senate Democrats that kept Republicans in control of the chamber.
Cuomo’s campaign has maintained he’s long been a progressive champion and pointed to policies enacted prior to this spring, including the legalization of same-sex marriage, an expansion of college financial aid and a $15 per hour minimum wage for downstate.
A Cuomo spokeswoman sought to link Molinaro with Republican President Donald Trump.
“Marc Molinaro is a Trump mini-me with an ‘A’ rating from the NRA who voted against marriage equality and is decidedly both anti-LGBTQ and anti-woman,” Cuomo campaign aide Abbey Fashouer said.