Comments by Gov. Andrew Cuomo suggesting that conservatives leave New York State have drawn sharp reaction, especially from pro-life groups.
In a radio interview, Cuomo said that conservatives “have no place in the state of New York.” He singled out people with anti-abortion views; those who oppose same-sex marriage; and people who are pro-assault weapons.
According to the New York Post, Cuomo said that Republican leaders with “extreme” views are creating an identity crisis for their party and represent a bigger worry than Democrats such as himself.
“Their problem isn’t me and the Democrats; their problem is themselves,” the governor said.
“Who are they? Right to life, pro-assault weapons, anti-gay – if that’s who they are, they have no place in the state of New York because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”
New York State Republican Party chairman, Ed Cox, called on the governor to apologize for the remarks.
Cox criticized Cuomo’s words as “poisoning New York’s politics with divisive rhetoric at a time when New York needs to be united to address its continuing economic problems.”
“Cuomo has not only written off millions of New York Christians and Jews (among others) as unfit citizens, he has yanked the welcome mat from under half the nation’s population, who, public opinion polls indicate, oppose abortion and same-sex marriage,” wrote conservative leader George Marlin, chairman of the board of Aid to the Church in Need USA.
“As for those who ‘have no place in the state of New York,’ the person at the top of that list must be the Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan. That’s because Dolan has proudly followed in the footsteps of his predecessors who were unabashed defenders of Church teachings in the public square.”
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, who is mulling a run against Cuomo, said, “I think when he reveals his true self, you see how angry and radical his views are and the governor certainly owes the people in our state an apology. New York’s greatness comes from accepting people with different points of view. Just so everyone around the country and world knows, we would still love you to visit our state, despite our intolerant governor.”
Jonathon S. Tobin, writing in Commentary, said, “Cuomo’s reference to abortion opponents is especially interesting in the way it seeks to declare them not only out of the political mainstream in New York (which is undoubtedly true) but also worthy of being driven out of the Empire State.”
Kathyrn Jean Lopez, who writes a blog for National Review, commented: “Now we’ve moved away from pretending his is a coherent and theologically acceptable position. As we enter the week of the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision 41 years ago Wednesday, Andrew Cuomo explains that the only acceptable public position in the state of New York is to support legal abortion – and, based on his agenda, its expansion.”
Dennis Poust, spokesman for the New York State Catholic Conference, on his Twitter account, said, “My governor thinks there’s no place in NY for people like me. Can I get a state grant to relocate?”
TV and radio personality Sean Hannity commented: “I can’t wait to get out of here. I really can’t. I don’t want to pay their 10-percent state tax anymore. I live in the second-highest property taxed county in the entire country in Nassau County. I can’t wait to sell my house to somebody who wants it. I can’t wait to pay no state income tax down in Florida or Texas. I haven’t decided yet, but I’m leaning Florida because I like the water and I like to fish.”
Remarks Out of Context
Cuomo said that his remarks are being taken out of context. In a letter to the New York Post, which first reported on his comments, Cuomo noted that he said in the interview that “it is fine” to oppose gun control measures and to be anti-abortion, adding that “he respects both positions.”
“(T)he Governor was making the observation that an extreme right candidate cannot win statewide because this is a politically moderate state (either moderate Republican or moderate Democratic),” the statement said.