Caputo, Lalor Get Into Westchester Radio Scrap
Michael Caputo, the western New York political operative who is supportive of Donald Trump’s candidacy for governor, was in a lengthy radio scrap with Dutchess County Republican Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor on Wednesday over the potential gubernatorial candidacies of both the reality TV show personality and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.
The conversation quickly turned heated.
Both Caputo and Lalor phoned into the WVOX show “The Sounding Board” with Matt Richter and Jerry McKinstry, to debate how serious Trump is about making a run for governor. Earlier in the day, a New York Post OpEd by Lalor urged Trump to drop the talk of running for governor and support Astorino.
Caputo, needless to say, has taken issue with this, saying on the radio show the OpEd was tantamount to a declaration of war against Trump by the Astorino side.
“I don’t think Assemblyman Lalor really knows exactly what he did today,” Caputo said. “I do think he was put up to this by Chairman Cox and Rob Astorino because he’s quite close to the county executive and now he’s close to Ed Cox because long ago he stopped being an outlier and joined the establishment of the Republican Party that hasn’t won a statewide office in more than a decade.”
Lalor shot back that he has only met Astorino twice and doesn’t have much of a relationship with him or the state party chairman.
“I think he’s a fine man, but I don’t see that he’s a serious candidate,” Lalor said of Trump. “He has a track record of flirting with public office only to back out.”
Lalor repeatedly insisted that party officials are only attending Trump events because of his celebrity status.
“If Kim Kardashian did a GOP event in my area, I would go. I certainly would get a picture with her, and I certainly would not vote for her for governor,” he said. “So just because you’re selling out some GOP events upstate doesn’t make you gubernatorial timber.”
Later, Caputo was asked, in effect, if the criticism was getting to Trump, leading to this exchange:
Caputo: I think that’s a fun thing to talk about, sure. But Donald Trump has been under attack for 25 years and his business has grown substantially all that time. His popularity has grown substantially all that time. Mr. Trump doesn’t care about what an assemblyman writes.
Lalor: Why did you call in today? Why are the gloves off now over 600 words in The Post? Why is Donald Trump so upset?
Caputo: Donald Trump isn’t offended. I’m offended by what you wrote, assemblyman.
Lalor: But you’re his minion!
“The birth certificate claims that Trump made — that’s an embarrassment to Trump, that would be an embarrassment to the other people on the ticket,” Lalor said. “I certainly don’t want to be answering questions about Trump and the Obama birth certificate nonsense from a couple of years ago. I don’t want to be answering questions about bankruptcy. I don’t want the attorney general to be investigating the person on the top of our ticket. I wish the Trump camp would confront those issues, not this hocus pocus about now the gloves are off.”
Caputo demurred at first, saying the Post OpEd wasn’t “nearly as polite as the assemblyman is being right now.”
And he further fumed:
“Mr. Trump has not talked about the downsides of Rob Astorino. I think he will now and the assemblyman has tested that. The problem is assemblyman, you may have been a corporal in the Marines, but in politics you’re a private and you can’t really understand the damage you’ve done to this process. Now you’ve opened the floodgates and the damage is on you.”
Later, Lalor said many Republicans two years ago didn’t want to publicize a photo op they had with Trump when he attended a Dutchess County event.
Then the gloves, as it were, truly came off.
Lalor: “It’s funny because Trump came up to Dutchess County in 2012 and a lot of candidates were there and if they took pictures with him because of his celebrity status they certainly didn’t put it on the website because of the embarrassment and the baggage attached Trump.”
Caputo “Ah, so people are embarrassed to be around Trump, but they’re not embarrassed around a guy whose father was convicted of police corruption.”
Lalor: I don’t even know what to say that. I guess it shows the desperation of the Trump camp to be reaching for that kind of stuff.
The interviews ended with Lalor accusing Caputo of attempting to profit from a wealthy candidate.
“The political consulting class loves the self-funder,” he said. “Doesn’t matter if they can win or lose, they love the self-funding candidate because they’re going to write checks to the political consultants because it’s good business for the political consultants. Just ask Linda McMahon and her two failed campaigns for Senate.”
Caputo responded that Lalor just doesn’t know what he is talking about.
“I know you’re going to make this accusation that I’m in this to make money, but that’s not what I’m in this for,” he said. “I’m in this to save this state and if you don’t understand this –
And sadly, the hosts had to end their show.
Lalor will be a guest on Capital Tonight at 8 and on the replay at 11:30.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on February 20, 2014 at 2:38 pm, and is filed under 2014, Assembly, Donald Trump, Republicans. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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