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Astorino's Son Fires Back At Cuomo, Attack Ad

Rob Astorino shot back at an attack ad that digitally removed his son, Sean, from the photo.
Rob Astorino shot back at an attack ad that digitally removed his son, Sean, from the photo. Photo Credit: Rob Astorino

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Like Lucy pulling the football out of Charlie Brown’s reach, GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino used his own little trick to keep Gov. Andrew Cuomo from scoring political points on a recent television ad by Erie County Democrats.

The ad that aired in Western New York leading up to the Buffalo Bills game Sunday calls Astorino out on his Miami Dolphins fandom, while trumpeting Cuomo’s support of the local team. A photo of Astorino at Sun Life Stadium in Miami is used, but digitally removes his son, Sean.

Luckily for Astorino, Sean is pretty good on camera – and sounds a bit like a "Peanuts" character in his voice and delivery.

"Dear Gov. Cuomo, I went to a football game with my dad when I was seven,” Sean said. “It was a really great day for me. It was one of my favorite pictures ever with my dad. It wasn't very nice of you that you cut me out of it. Do you really like chopping up Astorino family photos? We wouldn't do that to you.”

Sean then holds up two other family photos and asked if “Mr. Cuomo” would like to cut him out of them for a TV ad, too.

“Before you cutout my pictures again Mr. Cuomo, why don’t you ask me first,” he said.

Not to miss an opportunity for a zinger, the ad closes with Sean asking Cuomo to “stop telling lies about my dad on TV. Best regards, Sean Astorino,” which he follows with a big smile.

"Andrew Cuomo's negative advertising already knew no bounds, but to erase my son from a cherished family photo is wrong and personally hurtful," Astorino said.  

He went on to say, “I won't even bother asking him for an apology, because I know I won't get one from this governor."

The Erie County Democrats’ advertisement ends with Cuomo posing with former Bills quarterback Jim Kelly and holding a custom jersey.

"Gov. Cuomo stood with us,” the narrator says. “He's delivered for Buffalo and all of western New York. So this November, when Rob Astorino comes asking for your vote, let's remember who was on our team." 

Astorino said Cuomo has spent more than $14 million on misleading attack ads. 

"We don't like the idea of using any family photos in attack ads, but altering them is worse," Astorino Campaign Spokeswoman Jessica Proud said in an email. "If the Governor felt this was an appropriate attack, then he should have at least given the whole picture."

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