Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, who was just nominated as the Republicans' choice to challenge New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s seat in office, has come out firing in response to a tongue-in-cheek comment the governor made about his brother.
If the governor's race pitted these two candidates against each other, who would you support?
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Republican Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro
Cuomo drew the ire of local politicians and residents this week when he made a joke that his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, “has certain development issues.”
“This morning, I did CNN," Cuomo stated. “I have a brother. He’s not a natural brother, he’s adopted. But we treat him like he’s a natural brother.
“It’s actually a funny story. He was found at our front door in a basket and he was 16 years old. So he has certain development issues.”
Molinaro made it clear Cuomo’s attempted joke was not amusing.
“In my acceptance speech, I pledged to New Yorkers that we would not cede compassion to the Democratic party, I won’t cede decency either," Molinaro said. "Gov. Cuomo should stick with being angry and misleading, because his joke mocking the issue of individuals with developmental abilities is shameful. We need elected leaders who are willing to think differently, instead of speaking ignorantly.”
Westchester Assemblymember Tom Abinanti, a Democrat from Greenburgh, also called on Cuomo to apologize for “his attempt to make a joke at the expense of people with developmental disabilities.”
“Most New Yorkers - especially those with family members with special needs do not appreciate public officials making fun of people with disabilities," Abinanti said.
"Comments which make light of people with disabilities undermine the efforts of parents and family members who day in and day out work tirelessly to ensure that their family members are understood and accepted in the community.
"We hope that those who make and execute public policy would be sensitive to the needs of our most vulnerable and work to foster tolerance, respect, and dignity for all people.”
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