HEMPSTEAD -- While the Cuomo campaign kept a low-profile, pre-debate presence, the Republicans were out in force before the candidates took the stage with a beefed-up plea: more debates.
“They should be around the state,’’ Edward Cox, the state Republican Party chairman, said of more debates before election day.
Speaking to reporters before the 7pm gathering in the spin corner of the basketball gym that's been turned into a debate-hall, Cox and Paladino campaign manager Michael Caputo separately pushed for a half-dozen more debates.
Caputo said Paladino has accepted six other debates, and he opened the door to Paladino dropping his demand that debates include all major and minor candidates. “We’d like Andrew Cuomo to attend the other six,’’ he said.
That is unlikely.
Caputo sent mixed messages about the importance of tonight’s debate. At one point, he said it will be a “defining moment’’ for all the candidates and that “with a good performance tonight I believe we can turn this race around.’’
But, he added, “I don’t consider any of this do or die.’’
-- Tom Precious