Yesterday, in light of Ed Koch's comments about historical precedents, we wondered if Carl Paladino would be granted his October wish to have another gubernatorial debate. It seems that Paladino sacrificed to the wrong idol though. Andrew Cuomo directly addressed the issue yesterday, and made his stance clear: "I'm not inclined to do any more debates, no."
He elucidated his feelings about last Monday's rent-obsessed debate to reporters: "I'm glad I participated. I don't know [how] educational it was. I would argue it was more entertaining than educational." As for Paladino's request for a one-on-one debate between the two major candidates, Cuomo pointed to his hypocrisy in refusing: "I honestly believe that you don't have a good basis—and remember, this was Mr. Paladino's point, by the way, right? That's how this started. Mr. Paladino's point was you shouldn't discriminate against the African-American candidate and the female candidate. That's why we had all the candidates." This was also Koch's point yesterday: that Paladino shot himself in the foot by constantly jabbing at Cuomo to have an inclusive debate, and Cuomo was crafty enough to foresee the clown show that would be.
Paladino's team responded quickly to Cuomo's rejection, issuing a press statement trying to goad him into challenging them: "Andrew Cuomo needs to stand up and debate one-on-one with Carl Paladino to defend his abysmal record at HUD, his lack of prosecution of his political pals - and now his partnership with a bank that funded the 9/11 terrorists." And even more incendiary: during an interview with Reuters, Paladino placed the blame for the housing crisis at Cuomo's doorstep. "The housing bubble occurred because of one man—that was Andrew Cuomo...And Alan Greenspan said it. The housing bubble started the subprime meltdown. How did the housing bubble occur? Andrew Cuomo, for his own self-interest, laid on FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to lower their standards."