New York Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox on Wednesday defended a letter he mailed to unnamed GOP leaders, which urged them not to endorse Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his re-election bid this year.
Cox, speaking to host Fred Dicker on WGDJ-AM in Albany, said Cuomo has “strong powers” as governor and is “willing to use them” to try and garner support from Republicans and business people.
“Those who support him aren’t doing it out of their Republican convictions,” Cox said. “They’re doing it for other reasons, and that’s what the letter basically points out. And it should be pointed out, and it’s my job to do it.”
Cox’s letter—which can be read in full here—pleaded with Republicans to consider Cuomo’s “abysmal record” before issuing a cross-party endorsement, claiming that the Cuomo administration had been reaching across the aisle for support.
It was ridiculed by the state Democratic Party, whose executive director pointed out that many of Cuomo’s accomplishments were passed with Senate Republican support.
“You have to feel bad for GOP Chairman Ed Cox having to beg his own party members not to endorse the governor by criticizing a bi-partisan record of accomplishment passed by Senate Republicans,” Democratic Committee executive director Rodney Capel said in a statement yesterday. “Best of all, Ed Cox’s claims of dirty tactics are pure irony especially given his education on dirty tricks from the days of Richard Nixon.”
The letter also was criticized by Donald Trump, who tweeted: “The Ed Cox letter to Republicans, which is being so badly ridiculed by the press, should never have been written. WEAKNESS-SAD!”
UPDATED: It appears Senator-turned-influential-lobbyist Al D’Amato, a Republican, didn’t get Cox’s letter. He told the New York Post he’ll be backing Cuomo for re-election, saying Cuomo has done an “excellent job” overall.