Ed Cox

Cox: Cuomo And de Blasio Trying To Outdo Each Other, Again (Updated)

State Republican Chairman Ed Cox on Monday blasted both New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s speeches outlining efforts to fight discrimination and hate crimes in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential election victory.

In the statement, Cox said the feud between the state’s two top Democrats has morphed into an early battle for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president.

Over the past days, Cuomo and de Blasio have pledged to fight discrimination and bolster anti-discrimination measures in the city and state.

“What we have witnessed from both Governor Cuomo at the Abyssinian Baptist Church yesterday and Mayor de Blasio at Cooper Union this morning is a naked and unseemly fight to position themselves to be the 2020 Democratic nominee for President,” Cox said in the statement.

“These two scorpions in a bottle are each trying to outdo one another with slanderous fear-mongering hyperbole, rather than focusing on their respective jobs running New York State and New York City. Both officials need a strong working relationship with the federal government and with each suffering from low job approval ratings, they should get back to working on behalf of New York’s citizens, not their own political ambitions.”

Both Cuomo and de Blasio have been in a long-running public feud, but battling Trump is beneficial to both men who may face primary challenges in the coming elections. De Blasio, who runs for a second term in 2017, may draw a primary challenger who has the tacit backing of Cuomo.

Updated: Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi responds.

“Only Ed Cox can call standing up for the rights of New Yorkers divisive,” he said. “He should really leave the country club once in a while.”

Ed Cox To Tonight’s Veep Moderator: Don’t Fact Check

New York Republican Chairman Ed Cox has some advice — actually, it was termed in a warning — for tonight’s moderator of the vice presidential debate: Don’t fact check the candidates.

In a statement, Cox warned CBS reporter Elaine Quijado to avoid committing “career suicide” and refrain from fact checking the conversation in the debate between Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, pointing to the exchange over stop-and-frisk policy between Donald Trump and Lester Holt

The exchange in question was over the constitutionality of stop-and-frisk. The non-partisan Politifact determined both Holt and Trump misspoke in the debate, but Trump was “more wrong” than Holt.

As for his career, Holt has not lost his job at NBC News as its main anchor.

“Debate moderators attempting to play the role as fact-checkers are committing career suicide,” Cox said. “Their role is consequential and they have a responsibility to the American public to ignore pressure from the Clintonistas in and around the media to influence the discussion. Americans are watching closely and their confidence in debate moderators as truly impartial must be restored.”

Debate moderators have come under a crosscurrent of pressure from journalists and politicians alike for “fact checking” the candidates in the forums. Hillary Clinton’s campaign in particular has pushed moderators to push back against Trump’s statements, while Republicans have maintained that’s an effort to sway the debate in her favor.

Trump Campaign Ramps Up In WNY

From the Morning Memo:

This Saturday, Donald Trump volunteers in Western New York will officially open the “Trump Victory field office.”

According to Erie County GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy, the office will be a volunteer nerve center to assist the campaign in getting more people involved with the GOP nominee’s bid for the White House. He said similar offices will open across the state in the near future.

“There’s investment in New York state (by the Trump campaign,” Langworthy insisted. There will continue to be a growing amount of investment in the state infrastructure. We have not seen this before. This is not something that we had with Mitt Romney.”

Langworthy, who’s part of the Trump NY leadership team, said the campaign is starting to ramp up activities, too. Last month, honorary Trump campaign co-chair Carl Paladino said there had been a request made for the candidate to make pre-general election visits to Buffalo, Albany and Nassau County.

“I think we’re going to have some level of activity by Donald Trump himself. There’s no confirmation of locations dates and times,” Langworthy said.

Langworthy hosted state GOP chairman Ed Cox in Buffalo yesterday amid speculation that the former might be gunning for the later’s political post, though there was no sign of any animosity or competition between them. Both Republican leaders tempered expectations about a potential Trump visit without closing the door to the possibility that one might yet occur.

“We would love to have him campaign here in New York,” Cox said. “He already did in our decisive primary on April 19th. He campaigned the state from one end to the other as he did when he was thinking about running for governor in 2014.”

Langworthy added:

“If we’re competitive in New York and can turn the corner in New York, well that means that probably a lot of other states are too. I mean, I’m not looking to pull his time away from the important states of Pennsylvania and Ohio.”

Neither chairman seemed to be concerned about their candidate’s poor poll numbers in New York when pitted against his fellow Empire State resident, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. They continue to publicly insist he can carry the state, which no Republican presidential candidate has done since Ronald Reagan.

“He has said that he’s going to carry New York state and I believe him,” Cox said. “Given the circumstance here and my sense of it, having been part of these campaigns going way back, this is the year, the first time we could do it since 1984.”

Langworthy said his main goal is for Trump to carry Erie County. Regardless, he believes the campaign will help down-ballot candidates – a topic that has been hotly debated, especially when it comes to the re-match over control of the state Senate.

“Barack Obama carried this community with 58 percent of the vote,” Langworthy said. “He was wind in the face of our candidates. Donald Trump is not. He may not ultimately win the whole county on election night but he’s going to be much, much closer than any presidential candidate that we’ve had run in this 2-1 dark blue county in the last, probably 25 to 30 years.”

Cox Praises Pence Pick

While Donald Trump may be having some buyer’s remorse over his selection of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate, New York Republican Chairman Ed Cox is praising the deicsion.

“With the selection of Governor Pence as his vice-presidential nominee, Mr. Trump has once again demonstrated the leadership skills required to make the changes necessary to put America on the right track,” Cox said in a statement.

“Governor Pence is an accomplished executive, served in Congress in the Republican leadership and is a solid conservative. We were proud to be involved in his election to the Indiana Governorship through the RGA in 2012 and to host him at our annual New York Republican Committee Dinner in 2014. This is the winning ticket that will grow our economy, create good-paying jobs for our families and protect our nation from the growing threat of terrorism.”

Cox spoke highly of the three finalists for the VP nod on Thursday in an interview with the Capitol Pressroom, praising the credentials of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Cox: RNC Will Be More Traditional Than Expected

New York Republican Chairman Ed Cox on Thursday downplayed expectations next week’s GOP convention in Cleveland will be a rollicking and unpredictable affair even as the party is formally expected to nominate Donald Trump, a rollicking and unpredictable candidate, for president.

“Not only am I looking forward to it, but I’m right in the middle of a group of delegates on the arena floor here,” Cox said.

In a radio interview, Cox downplayed reports the convention isn’t filling delegates and Republican operatives with dread.

“All the RNC members, whether they are delegates or not, are excited to be here,” Cox told WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom in a phone interview from Cleveland. “This may turn out to be a very straightforward.”

Cox did allow some of the scheduled speakers, including former quarterback Tim Tebow and UFC Chairman Dana White among them “may be a little different” but still fits within the Trump brand.

“That doesn’t mean they won’t be effective or mean anything really unusual happening on the convention floor,” Cox said.

Amid pressure from Trump supporters in New York, Cox endorsed the businessman’s presidential bid in the days after he won New York’s GOP presidential primary by a wide margin.

Trump’s most prominent supporter in New York, Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino, was previously critical of Cox for not fully embracing Trump’s campaign.

But on Thursday, Cox was effusive in his praise for Trump’s potential vice presidential running mates, a list that has been narrowed to Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

On Pence, Cox said: “He was a leader in the House, he is a very successful governor of Indiana.”

Gingrich: “He is an extraordinary leader. He has run for president before, he’s thoroughly vetted.”

Christie: “Chris Christie, great leader, he’s clearly a strong executive.”

Sessions: “No one presents the case better for Donald Trump.”

Cox is due to chair the state delegation from New York during the RNC, which begins Monday.

State GOP Sees Hope In Siena Poll

State Republicans on Tuesday saw a glimmer of hope when it comes to possibly recapturing the governor’s office in 2018, pointing to a Siena College poll that found nearly half of voters surveyed are prepared to back someone else over re-electing Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“While Governor Cuomo’s job approval rating has consistently remained under water with a strong majority disapproving of his performance, for the first time it has translated into a plurality of voters who are not prepared to re-elect him,” said state GOP Chairman Ed Cox.

“As the state continues to suffer under his punishing business climate, highest taxes and worst-in-the nation economic outlook, it’s no surprise voters are already looking to replace him. We are confident that as more details come to light on the Governor’s Buffalo Billion boondoggle, that dissatisfaction will grow and our next governor will be a Republican who will reform our state to create real economic growth, not just gimmicks.”

Still, a generic “someone else” doesn’t necessarily translate into votes for a generic Republican candidate, nor does it help a GOP hopeful who would still have a lot of work to do in fundraising and building statewide name recognition.

The poll also showed the majority of New York voters surveyed believe Cuomo is ethical, despite the swirling corruption investigations into economic development programs.

Republicans have not won a statewide office in New York since 2002, when then-Gov. George Pataki won a third term.

The candidate widely viewed as one of the biggest threats to Cuomo two years from now, Rep. Chris Gibson, announced he would not run for governor and take a job at Williams College.

Republicans potentially vying for the nomination include Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino (the party’s 2014 nominee), businessman Carl Paladino (the party’s 2010 nominee), Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and businessman Harry Wilson.

Cox: Trump’s Delegate Trouble Will Improve Campaign

New York Republican Chairman Ed Cox brushed off the criticism from Donald Trump and his campaign the delegate allocation process in the presidential primary contests have been “rigged” against him.

Cox, in a radio interview on WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom, said Trump could recover after a tough time in the Colorado contest, in which Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign was able to out maneuver the New York businessman and win the lion’s share of the delegates.

“They need to have a much more extensive organization which is doing more than just mass meetings,” Cox said in the interview. “I think while there is some complaints about the system, I think there are lessons learned here and Donald Trump is going to have a better campaign for it.”

Trump’s drive toward the Republican nomination has stalled in states, like New York, that do not have a winner-take-all contest. Trump, nevertheless, appears poised to win the majority if not nearly all of New York’s 95 delegates in next week’s GOP primary.

Trump’s team has recently brought on Paul Manafort, a veteran GOP operative, to handle delegate wrangling ahead of the Republican convention, which could be one of the first contested ones in a generation.

In the interview, Cox said the situation showed Trump’s campaign it has to evolve.

“The rules have been out there for a long period of time,” Cox said. “They’re well known. You need a lot of different skills to win a general election, you need an organization to win a general election.”

At the same time, Cox laughed off any suggestion establishment Republicans would lead to Trump running an independent bid for president, which Carl Paladino on Tuesday predicted would be the end of the Republican Party.

“I think that’s a big exaggeration and there hasn’t been any indication or proof of any of that,” Cox said. “It’s part of the campaign rhetoric. The important thing is we need to have a very good general election. If Donald Trump is going to be our candidate, he needs to have a complete organization. I think that’s what Colorado pointed out to him.”

Cuomo’s Minimum Wage Campaign Compares Cox To Trump

The Mario Cuomo Campaign For Economic Justice isn’t letting criticism of its RV tour from New York Republican Chairman Ed Cox stand.

Cox on Tuesday knocked the latest push Gov. Andrew Cuomo is undertaking for increasing the state’s minimum wage to $15, saying he should get out of “union halls” and instead “speak to small business owners about the crushing impact a 67% increase in the minimum wage would have on them.”

(A Siena poll in January found support for the wage increase to $15 was backed by voters, with a 65 percent of voters).

“We have the highest taxes in the nation, the least-friendly business climate and the worst economic outlook,” Cox said in a statement. “Behind the curtain of fancy ads and gimmicks funded by powerful special interests, it is plain to see that the only purpose of this radical proposal is to boost the Governor’s political agenda at the grave expense of New York’s economy.”

Austin Shafran, a spokesman for the minimum wage campaign who has worked for the state Democratic Committee, said Cox, the patrician son-in-law to former President Richard Nixon, “seems to be in line” with Trump on the issue.

“It’s no surprise that Ed Cox and his cronies are taking yet another extreme stance that’s out of step with a vast majority of New Yorkers,” Shafran said. “‎We believe in a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work and it’s sad that the State GOP seems to be in line with Donald Trump, who thinks wages are already too high.”

New York GOP 2016 Convention Will Be In Buffalo

The New York State Republican Committee will hold its 2016 convention in Buffalo. The convention is scheduled for March 4th and will be in one of the city’s newest buildings, HARBORCENTER, which is connected to First Niagara Center.

GOP Chairman Ed Cox will be at Erie County Republican Headquarters, Tuesday at 11 a.m., to make the announcement. The committee will name its candidate for U.S. Senate during the convention.

The party has typically held the convention downstate although in 2012 it was in Rochester when Wendy Long was selected as the candidate to run against Kirsten Gillibrand.

Cox Talks Trump, Israel Seat And State Senate

New York Republican Chairman Ed Cox isn’t concerned with the effect Donald Trump could have on down-ballot candidates as a potential general election nominee, saying the businessman will “do what it takes to win.”

“He’s a businessman, he wants to win. He will do what it takes to win,” Cox said. “If he’s our general candidate, you bet he’ll be talking about things in a different way, a more refined way, it could actually work here in New York.”

Republicans in New York running in local elections, especially in Democratic pockets, already face an uphill climb given that, historically, Democratic voters turn out in greater numbers in presidential election years.

Democrats hoping to recapture control of the state Senate are eager to have Hillary Clinton at the top of a ticket, which could further drive out Democratic votes.

Even before the general election, Senate Republicans face a likely special election to fill the seat vacated by former Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who was convicted on corruption charges last month.

Cox was bullish on the chances of the Nassau County district being a Republican hold, despite the Democrats’ enthusiasm for likely candidate Todd Kaminsky, a state assemblyman and former federal prosecutor.

“I see no reason why a good Republican candidate cannot win Dean Skelos’s seat in Nassau County,” Cox said.

But the picture could get more complicated for the Senate GOP should Sen. Jack Martins run to fill the vacancy being created by the retirement of Democratic Rep. Steve Israel. Martins’s district has seen some closely fought electoral contests in recent cycles.

Cox said the decision for who will run for Israel’s seat will be hope to the country chairs. The House district spans three counties.

“The county chairs are talking among themselves to decide the best candidate going forward and that’s what’s going to happen,” he said. “In the end this is a decision of our county chairs and in the past they’ve done a very good job of it.”