Andrew Cuomo and Cynthia Nixon swap insults in New York governor’s debate

Heated TV debate before their primary race to decide Democratic nomination

August 30th, 2018: New York governor Andrew Cuomo and challenger Cynthia Nixon argue over who is the stauncher opponent of US president Donald Trump in their only debate for the state's Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Video: Reuters

 

New York state governor Andrew Cuomo and Cynthia Nixon, Broadway actor and former Sex and the City TV star, clashed and swapped insults in their only scheduled, televised debate before their primary race to decide the Democratic nomination for the governorship.

At one point Cuomo barked: “Can you stop interrupting?” at Nixon, who snapped back: “Can you stop lying?”

Meanwhile Cuomo, currently serving his second term, said he will serve another four years and won’t run for the White House in 2020 if he wins a third term in the November election. To get there, he will have to win the September 13th primary against the insurgent candidate, Nixon. Polls suggest the governor has a more than 30 percentage point lead over his opponent, who also trails substantially in fundraising.

Nixon represents a distinctly progressive platform, based on education reform and social and economic equality, and is part of a populist wave of candidates assailing establishment figures with challenges from the left.

Establishment figure

As a political ingenue who has not held office at any level before, she represents an audacious, if outside, threat to establishment figure Cuomo who has powerful standing in the party.

But her feisty campaign has garnered high profile attention and finally drew Cuomo into a live debate at Hofstra University on Long Island. Nixon went after Cuomo early in the exchange, calling him corrupt and a liar and saying experience doesn’t matter if a politician is ineffective.

“I’m not an Albany insider like Governor Cuomo, but experience doesn’t mean that much if you’re not actually good at governing,” she said, referring to the seat of New York government in the state capital.

Cuomo responded that Nixon doesn’t understand the challenges of leading the nation’s fourth largest state and lives in a “world of fiction”, while he resides in the real world where you don’t just “snap your fingers” and change happens.

“That’s the art of government. I can get it done,” he said.

The Democratic primary winner will face Republican Marc Molinaro and independent Stephanie Miner in November. – Guardian Service