Upstate voters in the coming gubernatorial primary have national issues at the forefront of their concerns, Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters during a stop Thursday in the Bronx.
"There’s a tremendous fear about what President Trump is doing," he said. "This is an assault on New York values all across the board."
Press what local issues upstate voters were concerned about, Cuomo again pointed to Trump’s policies on immigration, as well as the potential for a newly conservative majority on the Supreme Court to roll back rights for the LGBT community as well as abortion.
"First, I think they’re concerned about national issues and the plight of the nation," he said. "Whatever town you live in, as goes the nation, as goes the town."
And he pointed to the property tax burden for upstate homeowners impacted by the $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions, part of the 2017 tax law.
"Their attack on New York with what’s known as the SALT provision, their property taxes are going to go up," he said. "That is one of the top issues for upstate New York — property taxes."
Cuomo’s answer drew a rebuke from Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro, who called it a tone-deaf response.
"Andrew Cuomo is totally disconnected from the struggles of real New Yorkers who are constantly faced with concerns about things like the price of gas and groceries, high taxes, underemployment, skyrocketing rents, addiction, violence in our cities, clean drinking water, tire-busting potholes, and support for those with disabilities. What Mr. Cuomo cares about, today revealed, is running for President-and that’s all," Molinaro said.
"Andrew Cuomo has checked-out as governor. He’s only running for re-election because it gives him a national platform and allows him to raise millions of dollars for his campaign by cynically giving away billions in tax breaks and grants to donors. Real New Yorkers? They mean nothing to him. For me, they’re everything – and their concerns are the ones I’ve lived and what I care about."