Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the current “schism” in the state Republican party is a smaller version of the split causing so much damage in Washington, D.C., and that “conservative Republicans … have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”
In conversation with Susan Arbetter on “The Capitol Pressroom” Friday morning, Cuomo said:
You have a schism within the Republican Party. … They’re searching to define their soul, that’s what’s going on. Is the Republican party in this state a moderate party or is it an extreme conservative party? That’s what they’re trying to figure out. It’s a mirror of what’s going on in Washington. The gridlock in Washington is less about Democrats and Republicans. It’s more about extreme Republicans versus moderate Republicans.
… You’re seeing that play out in New York. … The Republican Party candidates are running against the SAFE Act — it was voted for by moderate Republicans who run the Senate! Their problem is not me and the Democrats; their problem is themselves. Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are and they’re the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.
If they’re moderate Republicans like in the Senate right now, who control the Senate — moderate Republicans have a place in their state. George Pataki was governor of this state as a moderate Republican; but not what you’re hearing from them on the far right.”
The governor’s suggestion that, for example, those who hold anti-abortion views have no place in the state prompted Dennis Poust, spokesman for the state Catholic Conference, to observe on Twitter, “My governor thinks there’s no place in NY for people like me. Can I get a state grant to relocate?” (And where to — New Hampshire, maybe?)