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Governor debate: Notable moments between Cuomo and Molinaro

Cuomo called the county executive a "fiscal fraud" and Molinaro accused the governor of being corrupt.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Dutchess County Executive

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro faced off in a taped-to-air debate on Tuesday. Photo Credit: AP/Mary Altaffer

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and his Republican challenger Marc Molinaro went head-to-head on Tuesday in their first and only debate planned (so far) ahead of the Nov. 6 general election.

The politicians squared off during a taped debate Tuesday afternoon that aired on WCBS-TV and WCBS NewsRadio 880 at 7 p.m.

Cuomo is seeking his third term as New York’s governor. Molinaro is currently the Dutchess County executive. None of the third party candidates were invited to participate in the debate.

The tête-à-tête was heated from the outset, with Cuomo calling the county executive a “fiscal fraud” and Molinaro accusing the governor of being corrupt.

Read on for more of the debate’s most notable moments.

Molinaro comes out swinging on ethics

While referencing the corruption conviction of Cuomo’s former top aide, Joseph Percoco, Molinaro said, “Governor, you have led the most corrupt government in America.”

Cuomo fired back that he was cleared of any wrongdoing during an investigation by the U.S. attorney’s office.

Cuomo counters with allegations against Molinaro’s wife

After dismissing Molinaro's corruption claims, the governor went on the offensive by renewing a previous accusation that the county executive’s wife received a job from one of his campaign donors.

“Your county legislature is calling for an investigation on you for kickbacks and perjury,” Cuomo said.

Molinaro denied the accusation.

Molinaro says NY ‘cannot afford’ a single-payer health care system

“New York has a hard enough time getting the trains to run on time,” he added — a clear dig at the state of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s subway system, the operation of which Cuomo is responsible for.

Cuomo questions Molinaro’s stance as a fiscal conservative

The governor called his challenger a “fiscal fraud,” adding that he is more fiscally conservative than Molinaro.

Molinaro ties Cuomo to Trump with campaign contributions

During his re-election campaign, Cuomo has leaned heavily on his stance against President Donald Trump’s policies, but that didn’t stop Molinaro from reminding him of the thousands in campaign donations the governor received from Trump before he ran for president. Cuomo has said he will not return the money because it would only help Trump’s future political campaigns.

Undaunted, Cuomo fired back at Molinaro over his support for the president, asking repeatedly, “Do you support Trump?”

Cuomo repeatedly tries to link Molinaro to Trump

The governor asked Molinaro several times whether he supports the president, then added: "You can't answer that... but you already have..."

Cuomo also said Molinaro doesn't want a single-payer health care system in New York because, like Trump, he supports health care for "rich people."


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