New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and former "Sex and the City" star Cynthia Nixon exchanged insults and squabbled over a policy on Wednesday in their only scheduled debate before the Democratic primary. September 13th.
During the one-hour exchange at Hofstra University, the governor accused Nixon of donating Mayor Bill de Blasio as "a corporation". in exchange for special favors throughout the city, which Nixon denied.
Cuomo said: "My opponent, as the mayor's corporate donor, called the mayor's office looking for special favors for his friends."
Nixon intervened and replied: "How am I a corporate donor? I did not ask for favors from friends and I am not a corporate donor for anyone.
Cuomo continued saying: "You are a corporation … present taxes as a corporation … you are a corporation."
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and former Sex & the City star Cynthia Nixon appeared on Wednesday in their only scheduled debate before the Democratic September 13 primaries.
Cuomo (right) repeatedly called Nixon & # 39; a corporation & # 39; during the one-hour exchange at the Hofstra University in New York
Nixon added: "I never, could not, donate to anyone's political campaign, I donated through my own personal funds."
Cuomo kept calling Nixon & # 39; a corporation & # 39; before saying: & # 39; I am a person & # 39;
Nixon added during the debate that the only favor requested was to prevent the helicopters from flying over the "Shakespeare in the Park". free, an open-air theater that takes place in Central Park.
While the irritable exchange presented many interruptions and insults, none of the candidates got the political equivalent of a coup de grace that would likely significantly alter the race.
Cuomo made news during the debate, saying in response to a question about his political future that he plans to serve for four full years and that he will not run for president if elected for a third term.
Cuomo had been considered a possible presidential contender.
Nixon, a longtime liberal activist, went after the headline at the start of the debate, calling Cuomo corrupt and a liar.
She accused him of empowering Republicans in Albany and not doing enough to address political corruption, income inequality or the aging metro of New York City.
"I'm not a connoisseur of Albany like Governor Cuomo, but I think that experience does not mean much if you're not good at governing," he said.
Cuomo responded by saying that Nixon & # 39; lives in a world of fiction & # 39; and does not understand the challenges of leading the fourth largest state in the nation.
& # 39; It's about doing. It's about management. This is real life, "said Cuomo.
You're in charge of fighting terrorism. You are there in case of fires and floods and emergencies … and today you have to deal with Donald Trump. You need to know how to do it.
Polls suggest that Cuomo has an advantage of more than 30 percentage points over Nixon, who is also substantially in fundraising.
The observers had predicted that Nixon would try to shake the governor in the hope that he would make a mistake.
& # 39; Can you stop interrupting? & # 39; Cuomo asked at one point.
Can you stop lying? & # 39; Nixon returned the fire.
Nixon tried to link Cuomo to the recent conviction of Joe Percoco, his former assistant principal, accused of taking bribes from companies seeking state funds for economic development.
She said that Cuomo was an accomplice or ignorant about what was happening in his administration. "Or corruption or incompetence, what is it? & # 39;
Cuomo responded that he did not know about Percoco's activities and said he would push for greater ethical reform if he is re-elected.
While several of Nixon's attacks seemed to irritate the governor, they did not provoke any significant blunder, such as the governor's comment earlier this month that the United States "was never so good." Cuomo then said that the observation was "inarticulate."
Cuomo's gubernatorial candidate and New York Democrat, Nixon, participates in a debate on governor at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, on Wednesday, August 29, 2018.
Hofstra University political scientist Craig Burnett said he did not see a clear winner in the debate, and that both candidates can claim some achievements.
Nixon, he said, had the opportunity to present his progressive vision for the state, while Cuomo stood his ground and avoided any serious mistakes that could go viral and change the race.
"Ideally, Nixon would have liked this debate to take place three months ago," he said. – She would have wanted three or four of them, as a way to convey her message. But this was it.
Cuomo had been considered a possible presidential contender in 2020, but ruled out that speculation when a moderator asked if he would commit to serve four years if he was reelected.
"Yes, yes, yes and yes," he said in response.
Candidates were also asked if they would seek the backing of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a liberal Democrat who has had a long and fragile relationship with Cuomo. Nixon has been a close ally.
Neither candidate said yes. Nixon said that she is running her own campaign and that she is not receiving instructions from anyone, while Cuomo said she would not try to tell the mayor how to vote.
The Democratic primary winner faces Republican Marc Molinaro, Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins and independent Stephanie Miner in November.
Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in New York by more than 2-1.
Cuomo, left, shakes hands with Nixon before his debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead on Wednesday