Gov. Andrew Cuomo does not plan to return $64,000 in campaign donations from previous campaigns received from President Donald Trump. The pushback comes in response to attacks from his Democratic primary rival Cynthia Nixon who wants to turn it into an issue.
“No, not at all. I’m going to be deeply critical of him and keep the contributions,” Cuomo said following a Brooklyn event.
The contributions happened between 2001 and 2009, according to The New York Post, further contextualizing by adding that he first ran for governor in 2002 and was state attorney general in 2009.
Nixon remains an underdog but is showing that her bite may be a little more powerful than Cuomo expected. After longtime powerful Democrat Joseph Crowley lost his primary in shocking fashion, Nixon has some extra motivation as she believes maybe she could be one of the next underdogs to dethrone a powerful establishment Democrat.
“Andrew Cuomo will take donations from anyone,” Nixon said in a fundraising pitch as supporters looked on. She added that “everyone from the Koch Brothers to fossil fuel companies have contributed, so we weren’t surprised to find out that Donald Trump has donated $64,000 to Cuomo.”
Trump donated to both parties during his time as a private citizen, in what now almost seems like a past life of his as a notorious New York tycoon personality and reality television star.
Nixon sent a fundraising pitch with a goal of raising her own $64,000 by midnight Thursday, The New York Post reports.
Cuomo hasn’t missed many chances to criticize Trump as the governor runs for his second gubernatorial reelection, at a time when some also think he may be eyeing a run in 2020.
On Thursday, he even released an “open letter” to State University of New York Board Chairman Carl McCall and City University of New York Board Chairman Bill Thompson, both of whom are black, urging them to promote racial diversity after the Trump administration rescinded guidelines on using race in college admissions, The New York Post reports.
Cuomo’s campaign brushed off concerns and criticism from the Nixon camp.
“This is nothing more than a cheap distraction from a campaign gasping for air. No governor has fought harder against Donald Trump than Gov. Cuomo,” Abby Fashouer, Cuomo’s campaign spokeswoman said. She said that “in fact, Trump considered running against the governor in 2014. Gov. Cuomo is 100 percent focused on continuing to lead the fight against the Trump Administration and win the U.S. House and State Senate so we can keep families together, protect New Yorkers from Trump’s disastrous tax plan, safeguard our state’s environment and defend New Yorkers’ civil rights — and no press release is going to change that.”
By: Rebecca Ellner