Candidate for governor Rob Astorino spent some of his morning today not taking on his Democratic opponent, Andrew Cuomo, but instead attacking a fellow Republican, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Astorino says Christie should consider resigning as the head of the Republican Governors Association after calling Astorino's campaign a "lost cause." NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
As the head of the Republican Governors Association, Chris Christie was in Connecticut on Monday to stump for the Republican candidate—but it was what he told reporters about Rob Astorino in New York that got all the attention.
"We don't pay for landslides and we don't invest in lost causes," Christie said.
"First of all, I think Chris Christie forgot where he came from. In 2009, when nobody thought he could beat Governor Corzine, he worked hard, he got through the summer. Things changed dramatically in the fall," Astorino said.
In 2009, though, Christie, a popular former U.S. Attorney, had an early lead in the polls that never actually went away.
A recent poll in New York showed Astorino trailing Cuomo by 37 points.
"If Governor Christie is unable to help a Republican candidate for governor, then maybe he should consider stepping down as Chairman of the RGA," Astorino said.
Christie campaigned in New Hampshire last month for a candidate who is down by more than twenty points.
Astorino also hinted at collusion between Cuomo and Christie over the scandal known as "Bridgegate."
Both Governors share control of the Port Authority, which operates the bridge.
"I think whatever Governor Christie knew or didn't know is probably the same for Governor Cuomo and if there is anything being held back that Governor Cuomo knows and he's holding that over Christie's head, I don't know," Astorino said.
In a statement, the Chair of the New York Democrats, former Governor David Paterson said, "That is a reckless, irresponsible accusation to make with no basis whatsoever, and not fitting for a qualified gubernatorial candidate. Maybe that's why his candidacy is not being taken seriously."
Former Republican Senator Alphonse D'Amato also called on Astorino to apologize for his Bridgegate remarks.
Up until now, Astorino has been reluctant to criticize Christie, but with recent polls showing that Astorino is having trouble gaining ground on Cuomo even without the RGA's help, it appears as though Astorino is changing tactics.