Governor Andrew Cuomo ducked an invitation to appear on NY1's "Inside City Hall" Tuesday to debate his main Democratic opponent, Fordham Law Professor Zephyr Teachout. Earlier in the day, Cuomo met with Jewish leaders to brief them on his trip to Israel last month. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has avoided answering questions about whether he would debate Zephyr Teachout, saying he would let his campaign aides decide. On Tuesday, though, the day the NY1 debate was scheduled, Cuomo said that agreeing to a debate has nothing to do with supporting the democratic process.
"I've been in many debates that I think were a disservice to democracy, so anyone who says debates are always a service to democracy hasn't watched all the debates I have been in," Cuomo said.
Meanwhile, Cuomo's running-mate, former Congresswoman Kathy Hochul campaigned at a senior center in Brooklyn with New York City first lady Chirlane McCray. Hochul scoffed at suggestions that her opponent Timothy Wu has been gaining momentum.
"I'm not sensing momentum. No. I think you'll see...You want to peek on election day? This is my fourth election in five years. I've been underestimated in many of my runs for office," Hochul said.
On Tuesday, Wu and Teachout received the endorsement of former Public Advocate Mark Green, who ran against Cuomo for state Attorney general in 2006.
"I'd hoped for a governor that was more principle than political. More candid than transactional," Green said.
Earlier in the day, the governor met with prominent Jewish leaders to brief them on his trip to Israel last month. The governor downplayed any suggestion that the trip was political, saying he is not sure whether Jewish voters here in New york will reward him for it.
"I don't know, in truth. I think it was clear that this was the time to go, right?" Cuomo said.
On Tuesday, Wu refused to weigh in on the question of Israel.
"I haven't taken a position on that. As Zephyr has said many times, I believe in peace for all humanity. And I'm focused right now on the LG race. I really haven't had time to focus on overseas conflicts," Wu said.
The governor was asked once again how he would respond if Wu were to win the primary, and once again Cuomo did not give himself much wiggle room, saying it's not going to happen, and Hochul is going win.