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Cuomo, Nixon square off at Democratic gubernatorial primary debate: 'Can you stop lying?'

August 28, 2018 - 2:20 pm

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y.  (1010 WINS) -- Take two tough-talking New Yorkers, put them in a room opposing each other, and watch the fireworks – and, at times, insults – fly.

That’s what happened at Wednesday night’s Democratic gubernatorial primary debate at Long Island’s Hofstra University, at which Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Cynthia Nixon battled it out for New Yorkers’ votes.

The pair’s opposing personalities were apparent when Cuomo asked Nixon, “Can you stop interrupting,” to which Nixon responded, “Can you stop lying?” Cuomo’s response? “Yah, as soon as you stop doing it.”

Another jab Cuomo took at Nixon was, "My opponent lives in the world of fiction, I live in the world of fact."

Nixon took issue with Cuomo claiming he stands up to President Donald Trump, saying, “you stand up to Trump about as well as he stands up to Putin.”

Cuomo also squashed speculation that he will make a run for president, saying he won’t give up being the governor. “The only caveat is if God strikes me dead,” he said.

Nixon said there are a number of issues that Cuomo takes credit for, but he had to be forced into doing them, like paid family leave and raising the minimum wage.

When Nixon was asked, that given her personal wealth – reportedly in the millions – would she return her salary back to the state, she responded, “Sure.” Would she at least take a dollar? “Maybe a dollar,” she said.

At an attempt to paint Nixon as hypocritical, Cuomo told Nixon the following, after she said many actors and small business owners have corporations: “Working men and women don’t have corporations.”

Cuomo also attempted to slam Nixon over the release of her tax returns, saying, “Only Donald Trump has had less transparency than my opponent when it comes to taxes.”

Nixon, however, said the topic of tax returns is a “nothing burger.”

As for the topic of legalizing marijuana, Nixon said “effectively, marijuana has been legal for white people in New York.”

When Nixon was asked if she wants New York City mayor Bill De Blasio’s endorsement, she said, “This is a race I’m running on my own.”

On whether she’s in favor of sports gambling in the state, Nixon said no.

When the topic of law and order came up, Nixon said, “I think that we need to as a state and a society make less investment in law and order and more in what makes a difference in people's lives" like education and housing.

Nixon said the state and the city also need to do more to curb homelessness, and she blamed the housing crisis. “The number one contributor to Andrew Cuomo’s campaign are real estate developers.”

Asked about whether she wants to remove the penalties for striking public sector union workers, Nixon said, "There is no real way for public sector workers to get a better contract other than cozying up to someone like Gov. Cuomo, and I think labor unions need to have more independence."

Cuomo said of the topic, "If you allow the public sector unions to strike, teachers could go on strike. There would be no school, children wouldn't be education... It would clearly be mayhem."

Cuomo’s late father, former governor Mario Cuomo came up, when Nixon addressed the renaming of the Tappan Zee Bridge after the elder Cuomo. She said he was a “great” governor, who deserved to have landmarks named after him, but “I’m not sure that naming a bridge with a Cuomo name” when the son is running for re-election “necessarily Kosher.” Nixon added, “This was pushed through in the dead of the night and the upset.”