Hell hath no fury like a scorned Carl Paladino. So it would it seem, considering the letter the Republican nominee for governor in New York sent to his Democratic challenger, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
In a note dated September 20, Paladino called Cuomo out for not accepting his challenge to debate. And he did it with the well-known Paladino touch.
“Dear Andrew,” the letter begins, “Please note in all previous correspondence that I have addressed you as Mr. Attorney General with the appropriate respect for the office that you hold. However, today I address you as the man the Democrats – the folks who gave us Spitzer, Patterson, and Hevesi – have nominated for Governor of New York.”
It gets better.
“I guess what I find most offensive, other than the arrogance towards the public by your lack of a public answer [regarding his debate challenge], is the idea that this is somehow your decision as you have some sense of entitlement based on being the son of Mario Cuomo, a governor who left our state economy in a wreck. I know. I remember trying to make a living in Upstate New York while your father was governor.”
“So Andrew, for the first time in your life be a man,” the letter concludes. “Don’t hide behind daddy’s coattails even though he pulled strings to advance your career every step of your way. Come out and debate like a man.”
Paladino won the Republican Party’s nomination for governor last week in a primary against GOP establishment candidate Rick Lazio. Paladino is backed by the Tea Party, and his win was considered one of the many Tea Party upsets of this election season.
While conventional wisdom assumes that Cuomo will easily sweep into office in November, a recent Rasmussen poll – the first one since primary night – shows Cuomo’s significant lead has been cut in half to 16 points.
This is not the first time Paladino has called Cuomo out for not debating him. In an attempt to goad the attorney general into accepting the challenge, Paladino sent an ad out to reporters, depicting Cuomo in the shower with special interests and lobbyists stuck to him like filth and grime.
And yes, the Paladino camp claimed full credit.
So far, Cuomo has not taken the bait by responding to Paladino’s taunts publicly. But perhaps, in order to defend his alleged lack of cajones, the attorney general will ultimately agree to debate the GOP nominee before the November election.
A request for comment was not returned by the Paladino campaign.