Republican Rob Astorino
3:34 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

GOP Hopeful for Governor Visits Syracuse, Slams Cuomo Record and Policies

Republican Rob Astorino, supported by Senator John DeFrancisco (right)
Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News

The newly minted G-O-P hopeful for governor made clear distinctions between himself and Governor Cuomo in a visit to Syracuse today.  Rob Astorino entered the race Wednesday.  He believes most people would come to the conclusion that New York is ‘losing.’

“We’re losing more of our people; 400,00 New Yorkers have left in just the last three years under this governor.  We are losing jobs to other states like Florida or Alabama or the Carolinas.  We are losing in the corruption.  We have more corruption in the state capital under Shelly Silvery and under Governor Cuomo than ever before…and it’s an embarrassment.” 

He directly went after Cuomo job proposals such as Start Up New York, calling them a gimmick; he’d reduce taxes for all business.  Syracuse State Senator John DeFrancisco stood beside Astorino in support.  Defrancisco scoffed at the notion that he’s backed some of Cuomo’s ideas and might not be supportive. 

“You can’t win.  If you don’t cooperate and try to govern in the governing season, then you’re the obstructionist who can’t compromise.  When you compromise when you can, to try and get something done, then you’re being disloyal to your party.”

Protestors greeted Astorino in front of Syracuse City Hall
Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News

Plenty of people who didn’t agree with Astorino were also at today’s event.  More than 30 protestors held signs expressing concern over equality issues and abortion rights, while others chided his positions on the environment and hydro-fracking.  Astorino is squarely in the pro-fracking camp.

“One thing that would be terrific to the Southern Tier, Central New York and all of New York and bring back manufacturing jobs, and that is natural gas exploration.  There is no question that we should be doing that.  When the President of the United States says natural gas exploration is not only welcome but needed, properly regulated, we should be going forward and doing this.  We’re walking on wealth.”

Astorino has already won an election as a party underdog.  The republican won twice as Westchester County Executive, despite a two-to-one democrat enrollment advantage.