Gov. Andrew Cuomo has launched a new campaign ad attacking Republican foe Marc Molinaro after a private Republican club invited the leader of an extreme right-wing group to the same location where Molinaro houses his campaign headquarters.
CUOMO TRIES TO LINK HIS OPPONENT AND BRAWLS IN MANHATTAN
Cuomo's newest campaign ad references violence that erupted in the city Friday over a right-wing speaker, and Molinaro's voting record.
"A violent male chauvinist hate group was invited to rally at his headquarters. He even supports putting a female inmate in shackles during childbirth. No, we're not talking about a distant figure from an ugly past; we're talking about the current Republican candidate for governor, Marc Molinaro," a narrator says in part of the ad.
Molinaro does not deny voting for female prisoners to be shackled during childbirth, but he said the bill he voted for in the state Assembly nearly 10 years ago made no exceptions, even when someone's life was in danger.
Responding directly to the ad, a spokesperson for Molinaro said, "Andrew Cuomo is a liar whose top aides and associates are going to jail. The only New Yorker in shackles are prisoners and today Cuomo is another step closer to being one."
POINTING FINGERS AT ONE ANOTHER
Last week, the Metropolitan Republican club was vandalized ahead of a Friday speech by Gavin McInnes, the right-wing founder of the group known as the Proud Boys. Republican State Chairman Ed Cox called the attack on the club an attack on the party.
But after the McInnes's speech Friday night, violence erupted between members of the Proud Boys and anti-fascist demonstrators. Cuomo blamed Cox for inviting McInnes to speak.
"The state party also condemns Gov. Cuomo for not doing his civic duty as the state's political leader, and then for telling the blatant lie that the state party organized an event, which in fact was organized by a private political club," Cox said in a phone call.
While the Metropolitan Club issued a statement defending its decision to invite McInnes, the club refused to make anyone available to discuss it and the statement it issued had no name attached to it.
"I can talk to them for you, I can try and ask them. But if you call over there, Debbie Coughlin, who, frankly, is a little bit of a shy person. So I don't think she really likes to talk," Cox said. "But that is their system, those are their people. We don't have any responsibility for them."
We reached out to Deborah Coughlin and did not hear back. It's still unclear who exactly invited McInnes, making it difficult to determine who is responsible and who is not.