Governor Cuomo was grilled by reporters on his unwillingness to debate Rob Astorino more than once before the election. Cuomo however, only wanted to talk about his new book. In response to the questioning, Cuomo abruptly cancelled an interview.
Lydia Kulbida of News Channel 10 posted on Facebook:
Just spoke with Gov. Cuomo @NYGovCuomo He wanted to talk about his new book. I wanted to know why there’s only 1 debate before the elections, why the Middleburgh Fire Dept. was denied $976,000 in NY Rising funding and about that whole “transparency” promise … hear what he had to say starting on News10ABC at 6, then FOX 23 at 10 and News10ABC at 11. (I also hear another station’s interview was cancelled after mine because they refused to ask only about the book.)
Earlier today, the New York Times ripped into Cuomo for avoiding Astorino.
With New York elections less than a month away, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is on a vigorous campaign to sell his new autobiography. What’s missing from this busy schedule is the political reality of the moment.
Mr. Cuomo is running for re-election on Nov. 4, and, so far, he has agreed to a single one-hour televised debate with three other candidates, including Rob Astorino, the Republican in the race. That isn’t sufficient for voters who need to hear and see the back and forth on issues like ethics in Albany, taxes, women’s rights and the economy.
Mr. Astorino, the Westchester County executive, has said at least five such debates were proposed, mostly by news organizations. However, Mr. Cuomo is willing to participate only in a group debate — which would include Mr. Astorino and candidates from the Green and Libertarian parties — in Buffalo on Oct. 22.
While this is better than nothing, the format means that the four candidates will essentially be participating in a panel discussion that allows less time for each candidate to challenge the others, and Mr. Cuomo knows that.
Cuomo likes to pass himself off as a big, brash, take-charge governor. In reality, he can’t deal with conflict. His micromanaging of every facet of the game has even led to his current ethics issues, and an ongoing federal investigation.
Even his signature legislation – the SAFE Act – was passed in the middle of the night. Why? So as to avoid a debate on the bill.
Additionally, when confronted by an opponent in the past, Cuomo famously and awkwardly ran scared.