What could be the public’s only chance this election season to see New York’s seven gubernatorial candidates debate live in a public forum is over.
Democratic candidate Andrew Cuomo, Republican Carl Paladino, Freedom Party candidate Charles Barron, Jimmy McMillan of the Rent Is Too Damn High Party, Libertarian candidate Warren Redlich, Green Party hopeful Howie Hawkins and former madame-turned-Anti-Prohibition candidate Kristin Davis traded barbs with each other at Hofstra University Monday evening on topics ranging from New York’s $8 billion budget deficit, to the MTA, corruption in Albany, and impending personnel and service cuts.
Yet, despite the tough issues, the debate overall was short on substance but high on comedic theatrics. Although there were many political elbows tossed at each other during the 90-minute contest, the event may best be remembered for the colorful cast of characters’ punchy responses and humorous one-liners—resulting in loud laughter from the audience as well as the dozens of reporters and media outlets relegated to watching the sparks fly on plasma TVs in the press pit.
Messages posted to Twitter by this reporter @investigations1 live from Hofstra as they happened, here’s a list of some of the more memorable quotes of the evening:
Paladino: “Medicaid is our No 1 out-of-control cost” (He got cut off: “I’m going to dismember NYS education establishment”)
Cuomo: “We’re going to have to find savings in education. Because the taxes r too high. I’ve actually shrunk gov’t.”
Former madame Kristin Davis: Legalize pot and casinos and we’ll bring in billions in state revenue
Jimmy McMillan (Rent Is Too Damn High Party): “Listen! Someone’s stomach just growled! Can you hear it!?”
Warren Redlich: “I’m not your typical New York politician. I’ve never been caught with a prostitute.”
Cuomo: “We just have too many govts in the state of NY. You have to consolidate those govts.”
Redlich: “It’s the No [School] Administrator Left Behind policy. We have to cut the spending.”
Charles Barron: “Consolidation means layoffs. Cuomo’s going to be the King of Layoffs.”
Andrew Cuomo’s response: “They go with you Charles, they have no jobs.”
Kristin Davis (dressed somewhat conservatively): “I actually support hydrofracking, drilling in the southern tier.”
Freedom Party Candidate Charles Barron: “The racism is in the budget.”
Rent Is Too Damn High Party Candidate: “I like to have coffee…Rent is too damn high!”
New York Libertarian Candidate For Gov Warren Redlich: I could solve the state’s problems with a six-pack and a pizza.
Paladino: “It’s a disgrace the way we care more for the needs of the United Teachers Assoc than we do for the child”
Kristin Davis: Diff bet escort service n MTA “I maintained one set of books n my agency delivered on-time n reliable service.”
Green Party Candidate Howie Hawkins: “The MTA’s become an ATM for the big banks.”
Carl Paladino: [about MTA] “We have one big beast that keeps sucking up money”
Libertarian NYGov Candidate Warren Redlich: “When u have smaller govt then govt has less power n u will see less corruption”
Rent Is Too Damn High NYS Gubernatorial Candidate Jimmy McMillan: “It all boils down to one thing–Rent! It’s too damn high!”
Charles Barron: “Asking Andrew Cuomo n Carl Paladino to end corruption is like asking an arsonist to help us put out fires”
Kristin Davis: “Career pols in Albany r the biggest whores in this state.” Says she’d be best candidate to deal with them.
And perhaps the quote of the night:
Jimmy McMillan’s response to “Do u support Gay Marriage Yes or No”: “In the Rent Too Damn High Party if u want to marry a shoe I’ll marry u”
Only in New York.
Follow me on Twitter for more insightful catchphrases from our elected officials and exposes into political and economical corruption as Election Day approaches @investigations1