Dem Defends Farce At Hofstra, But Does Not Commit To AnotherBy Marcia Kramer

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (CBS 2) — Republican Carl Paladino and Democrat Andrew Cuomo are both running for governor of New York. But on Tuesday it seemed like Paladino wanted to be a circus ringmaster and Cuomo the artful dodger.

The debate between the seven candidates for governor of New York has been described as “jokers wild,” a “show of farce” a “night at the improv” and a “debacle,” all because the five minor party candidates thought they were participating in “the night of a thousand clowns.”

“I wasn’t paying much attention to them,” Paladino said.

But that didn’t stop the Republican from wanting another one — this one upstate — with the same seven-ring circus, him, Cuomo and the five others candidates.

“We’re for sure going to ask Andrew for another debate,” Paladino said.

Oddly enough front-runner Cuomo, who has done one debate and avoided all long form interviews, defended the debate at a campaign appearance in Poughkeepsie.

CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer: “Mr. Cuomo, last night’s debate was truly a farce. Don’t you think you owe people more? Don’t you think the people need more than that to see what your positions are to compare you to Carl Paladino?”

Cuomo: “You know, Marcia, the point was made very early on in the Paladino campaign that all candidates should be included, that there is a female candidate who is running, that her voice was very important. There are African-American candidates who are running. Do I believe there’s more discussion to have with the people of the state so they understand the issues? Yes.”

Kramer: “Mr. Cuomo, I repeat my question. You had a seven-ring circus last night. Why not debate him one on one so the people of New York can compare?”

Cuomo: “I believe there is something to the argument if you are eligible to be on the ballot you are eligible to be at the debate.”

Kramer then asked Cuomo why he has repeatedly refused an issues interview with CBS 2. 

Kramer: “Why not do an interview about your issue positions and you can get the people to hear it?”

Cuomo: “I would love to talk to you about an issue.”

Kramer: “That’s what your staff has been saying for six weeks, but so far you and I haven’t spoken.”

Cuomo: “We’re speaking now. Okay, I would like to do it.”

Kramer: “When will you do it?”

Cuomo: “Next Thursday, 2 o’clock.”

Kramer: “I’m there. So are you willing to do it Thursday at 2 o’clock?”

Cuomo: “No, I was kidding.”

With only two weeks left in the campaign will Cuomo finally agree to discuss issues? There’s really no way to tell.

CBS 2, along with our radio partners WCBS 880 and 1010 WINS — plus the New York Times, and the City University of New York — have also offered to host and broadcast a gubernatorial debate statewide — so that everyone could watch.

That offer still stands.

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