By Tom Precious
ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo suggested today that “extreme’’ conservatives don’t fit in with the vast majority of New Yorkers.
“If they are extreme conservatives they have no place in the state of New York,’’ Cuomo said in a radio interview today.
Cuomo defined extreme as being what he called “anti-gay’’ for opposing same-sex marriage rights, opposed to abortion rights and favoring legalization of assault weapons.
The governor made his remarks in discussing what he called a battle within the state Republican Party between its conservative and moderate wings. “They are searching to find their soul,’’ he said of GOP leaders on both sides.
"Moderate Republicans have a place in this state,’’ said Cuomo, adding that he has cut deals with such moderates in the Legislature on an assortment of social and fiscal matters for the past three years.
Cuomo said people with far-right views regarding the social issues he raised with the interviewer on The Capitol Pressroom radio show represent just a small minority in New York.
On the issue of campaign finance, Cuomo dismissed as “baloney’’ issues about him raising so much of his re-election funds from deep pocket donors. The New York Public Interest Research group said Thursday that 45 percent of the money Cuomo has raised the past three years – he has, after expenses, $33.3 million in his re-election account – came from people and entities giving more than $40,000 apiece.
“I don’t care if someone gave me a ton of money or gave me no money. It makes no difference,’’ Cuomo said.
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