Presumed (because unopposed at the moment) Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio has found a winning campaign strategy: Don’t attack the Governor, attack the man everyone thinks is going to shove the Governor aside for this year’s race, Andrew Cuomo. And don’t attack him on issues–attack him for not declaring for governor early enough!
“Rather than provide the kind of star leadership that this state is hungry for, he locked himself in his office and watched as Albany burned,” says Lazio of Cuomo. “And you know why he was silent? Because he knows that the people disagree with what he believes in, that he is out of touch.” Lazio declined to describe Cuomo’s beliefs but, obviously, if Cuomo won’t reveal them they must be pretty bad.
Certainly Cuomo hasn’t expressed himself on Lazio’s pet issues, such as a unicameral state legislature and a Constitutional convention, and for this the Times claims there has been “growing criticism” of Cuomo: “When asked whether he will be a candidate for governor,” they report, “he repeatedly skirts the issue and insists that he is focusing on his job as attorney general.” The nerve!
Previously Lazio had attacked Cuomo for “undermining” Governor Paterson by not overtly challenging him for governor. Lazio, a former Long Island congressman best known for losing to Hillary Clinton in her first Senate race, was shown in a recent Marist poll to be running even with Paterson but trailing Cuomo, despite the alleged “growing criticism,” by 42 points.