Cynthia Nixon battles Andrew Cuomo over 'sexist' debate hall temperature

Cynthia Nixon and Andrew Cuomo

Modal Trigger Cynthia Nixon and Andrew Cuomo Getty Images

Nixon added during the debate that the only favor requested was to stop helicopters from flying over the free "Shakespeare in the Park" - an open-air theater that takes place in Central Park. His attempted hits - mostly efforts to flag that fact she does business as a corporation, plus some reference to lobbying City Hall on behalf of Sarah Jessica Parker, and a very weird charge involving Michael Bloomberg - were too complicated, contrived and obscure.

It was a remarkable admission, but one quickly subsumed into the heated clash.

"Yeah", Cuomo said. He hesitated for a moment. She had the most to gain from the debate.

It also means Nixon's depiction of Cuomo as the epitome of political double-dealing has to stick. Cuomo asked at one point Wednesday night, prompting cheers from union workers in the crowd.

Cuomo, who is seeking a third term and has a large lead in public-opinion polls, fired back by pointing to the responsibilities of the governor, including management of a $168 billion budget and responding to natural disasters and crises.

"Can you stop interrupting?" asked Cuomo.

Nixon accused Cuomo, an infamous micromanager, of either failing to identify illegal activities by his top aide "right under his nose" or of being complicit.

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"What I would say is that we're not talking about children smoking marijuana", she said.

The debate came ahead of the Democratic Party primary on 13 September for the post in the heavily Democratic state of 20 million people.

He earlier objected to Nixon calling him a "corporate Democrat", saying repeatedly: "You are a corporation", and asking as Nixon stared back at him: "Are you a corporation?"

"As soon as you do..."

"I can get it done", he said.

"Yes", Cuomo said. "Yes, yes and yes".

In July, Alain Kaloyeros, the principal architect of Cuomo's signature economic development initiative, was found guilty of rigging bids to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars in state contracts to favored companies. "They can debate about debates, but the governor is focused on having a substantive, in-depth discussion about the issues facing NY". 'Either corruption or incompetence, which is it?'

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Cuomo mostly avoided questions about his sizable war chest.

Cuomo received almost $113,000 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry from January 2015 to mid-January 2018, and he headlined a gala funded by big oil companies in May. The "76 degree" number was an opening offer, designed to create more wiggle room for temperature negotiation. "The only caveat is if God strikes me dead", he said, "otherwise I will serve all four years as governor of NY".

"Today, you have to fight Donald Trump, who is the main risk to the state of New York", Cuomo said.

Over the next hour, the governor surprised Nixon by going negative, ripping into his challenger as a phony who concealed her tax records (she has not) and would run the state into debt-driven chaos. Cuomo did not respond. "His goal will be to make no news".

Kramer reminded Nixon again her time was up.

"He used the MTA like an ATM, and we see the result", she said.

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