Cox calls out Christie; D’Amato wants Astorino to apologize

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Ed Cox. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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ALBANY—Republican state chairman Ed Cox is wondering if Republican Governors Association head Chris Christie forgot his roots in knocking the candidacy of Cox's endorsed standard bearer, Rob Astorino, after former state officials called on Astorino to apologize for comments he made about Christie.

Astorino called out Christie, the New Jersey governor, for pooh-poohing his candidacy on Monday night by suggesting his race against Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo was a lost cause.

“Gov. Christie seems to have forgotten from whence he came. His own underdog challenge to former Gov. Jon Corzine in 2009 would not have been possible without crucial R.G.A. funding, which enabled him to fight an otherwise hopeless battle against the Democratic Party machine in Trenton,” Cox said in a statement. “There is no such thing as a lost cause. Only lost opportunities. I encourage Gov. Christie to reconsider his position.
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The back-and-forth between Christie and Astorino has created ripples in New York political circles. Al D'Amato, a prominent lobbyist with close ties to the Cuomo administration, issued a statement calling on Astorino to apologize.

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"I strongly urge Rob Astorino to apologize for calling two distinguished Governors, Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo, corrupt,” D'Amato, a former Republican U.S. senator, said. “With little resources to mount a serious campaign and with dwindling support, Rob Astorino isn't in the position to be picking fights and doing gimmicky press conferences. He should go out and show us that his campaign is not a 'lost cause.'”

Earlier, former Governor David Paterson—now the Cuomo-picked chair of the Democratic State Committee—said Astorino wrongly impugned Cuomo in his remarks when he suggested Cuomo and Christie were in cahoots over Bridgegate, the controversy surrounding lane closings at the George Washington Bridge.

“That is a reckless, irresponsible accusation to make with no basis whatsoever, and not fitting for a qualified gubernatorial candidate. Maybe that’s why his candidacy is not being taken seriously,” Paterson said.