ALBANY – Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino is calling on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to debate him at least eight times around the state between now and the November elections.
Given the governor’s lead in the polls and his refusal in 2010 to debate more than once and only if all minor party candidates were included, the challenge from Astorino is likely to fall on deaf ears.
“Andrew Cuomo doesn’t like debates,” Astorino said in a video his campaign released Thursday.
Astorino said New York is a diverse state with many issues that can vary between the regions. He said he is ready to debate Cuomo in eight regions, including Western New York.
“So community organizations, schools and news outlets interested in sponsoring a debate should get in touch with both our campaigns,” he said.
“You’re not afraid to debate, are you governor?” Astorino concluded his video saying.
The governor has not yet addressed how many or if he will engage in debates this year. In 2010, Cuomo dismissed calls by his then-GOP foe, Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino, for a series of debates. Instead, he agreed to just one: a 90-minute gathering that featured seven candidates in a session that left little time for in-depth questioning of the major party candidates.
Besides seeking re-election, this fall is also likely to be a time of book promotion for the governor.
HarperCollins announced Thursday that the memoir – “All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life” – will be released Sept. 16. It had originally been due out in early August. HarperCollins, the publisher, said the book will have a print run of 200,000 copies.
Cuomo’s name has been floated as a possible 2016 White House candidate. Leading the polls among Democrats for that race is Hillary Clinton, whose recent book had a print run of about 1 million copies.