In an interview with Syracuse PBS affiliate on Friday, Cuomo stated that conservatives have "no place in the state of New York, because that's not who New Yorkers are".
The Republican Party candidates are running against the SAFE Act — it was voted for by moderate Republicans who run the Senate! Their problem is not me and the Democrats; their problem is themselves. Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are and they’re the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.
If they’re moderate Republicans like in the Senate right now, who control the Senate — moderate Republicans have a place in their state.
Shortly after the remarks were made public, Cuomo backtracked and his supporters claimed that his remarks were merely 'taken out of context', instead. Some supporters highlighted Cuomo's qualifier of 'extreme' and pointed out the Governor's praise of 'Moderate' Republicans who have more or less rubber-stamped some or all of Cuomo's agenda. Cuomo attempted to walk back his statements by saying that New Yorkers prefer moderate politicians of either party running for office only a few weeks after avowed socialist and Sandinista supporter Bill DeBlasio was sworn in as mayor of New York City.
By 'anti-gay', Cuomo is apparently referring to anybody who held similar views on same-sex marriage as Pope Francis or President Obama prior to his 2012 re-election campaign. Meanwhile, the NY SAFE Act, a hastily written and almost confiscatory gun law rushed through a closed-door session of the New York state assembly in the immediate aftermath of the December 2012 Newtown, CT school shootings has proven extremely unpopular upstate. Opponents point out the law does nothing to deter crime and makes criminals out of law-abiding citizens who own previously legal firearms while prompting manufacturers and businesses to move out of state because of the increased restrictions.
Another issue that has residents upstate irate at the son of Democratic former governor Mario Cuomo is fracking. New York's Southern Tier sits atop the Marcellus Shale natural gas formation- in fact, the formation is named after the village of Marcellus outside of Syracuse. However, while there has been drilling activity in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, Cuomo has dragged his feet on the issue since his 2010 election. Although drilling for natural gas could give the Empire State's economy a shot in the arm- particularly the economically hard-hit Southern Tier- hardline environmentalists and celebrity activists such as Yoko Ono or actor Mark Ruffalo seem to have the ear of Gov Cuomo's office, regaling his staff with liberally embellished horror stories of artificial earthquakes and tap water bursting into flames due to fracking. As the celebrities, environmentalists and wealthy Manhattan progressives do there utmost to ensure that no drilling takes place in New York, upstate counties atop the Marcellus Shale have unemployment rates of around 8%. To his credit, Cuomo floated a compromise where drilling would be confined mostly to the Southern Tier counties of Broome, Chemung, Tioga, Steuben and Chenango but that was quickly overruled by environmentalists. While the Governor and state officials have made no official decision on fracking, observers believe Cuomo and other Democrats are waiting for a more politically opportune time after the 2014 election to make an unpopular decision.
Meanwhile, as landowners in the Southern Tier have been hit with a double whammy of an economy that's been in decline since the 1970s and some of the highest property taxes in the USA, Governor Cuomo has been fundraising in Hollywood- for his re-election bid as governor of New York.
Between the push for same-sex marriage, gun control and abortion while obstructing a surefire means of reviving the Southern Tier's long suffering economy for political expediency, Cuomo's actions as governor have made it abundantly clear that he believes conservatives (or even moderates who disagree with him) have no place in New York. his statements in Friday's PBS interview simply made it official.
[Hat tip- Lonely Conservative; The Mental Recession