Democrats in New York are trying to keep the heat on Republicans running for office over the coarse remarks made by GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump in a leaked video.
Every day since the release of the tapes, where Donald Trump disparages women in a crude manner, Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has slammed the GOP Presidential candidate. And he’s urged New York Republicans to disassociate themselves from the top of their ticket.
“They should stand up and say ‘I’m a Republican, but I’m a New Yorker first’,” Cuomo said. “‘And we’ll have nothing to do with the degradation of women’.”
Cuomo’s admonitions don’t extend to New Jersey, though, where Republican Governor Chris Christie is a Trump advisor.
“It’s not my place to tell him what do,” Cuomo said.
The two neighboring governors have a kind of nonaggression pact, refusing to criticize each other in public. Christie did not attend Sunday night’s debate and said in a radio interview Tuesday morning that Trump’s comments were “unacceptable”.
The Presidential campaign could also play a major factor in the several close Congressional races as well as in the fight for control of the State Senate, where Republicans have control of the Senate, with the help of one Democrat who meets with them. They do not have the numerical majority of 32 members that they need to lead the Senate outright.
Democratic Senate Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins was quick to condemn Senate Republicans who have not publicly disavowed Trump, saying it is “shameful” to continue to support a “proven misogynist”.
“It demands, really, that Republicans in the State Senate say ‘enough is enough’,” Senator Stewart Cousins said.
Democrats believe the recent controversies surrounding Trump, combined with Democrat Hillary Clinton’s strength in New York, could help them retake the Senate. Senator Stewart Cousins say she also believes Democrats have a “talented array” of candidates.
Governor Cuomo, who also might be seeing the tide turn, is holding three fundraisers in coming weeks for Senate Democrats. The governor in past election cycles has been criticized for not doing enough to help Democrats win Senate seats, and has often prided himself on his good working relationship with the Senate GOP.
Senate Republican Leader John Flanagan, at the national convention in Cleveland in July, declared he was wholeheartedly a Trump backer.
“I am supporting Donald Trump for President,” Flanagan said on July 21st. “I’m going to do so with grace, with diplomacy, with passion, with fervor.”
But now, through a spokesman, Senator Flanagan says that “Donald Trump’s recent comments are offensive and intolerable” , and “do not represent the values” of the men and women of the Senate Republican Conference.
Flanagan spokesman Scott Reif makes a distinction between positions held by the Senate GOP and Trump’s national candidacy, saying the Senate passed women's equality legislation that “ensures equal pay for equal work, protects the victims of domestic violence and creates zero tolerance for sexual harassment in the workplace.
“Actions speak louder than words,” Reif said.
But he does not say whether he intends to fully break with Trump.