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Hempstead, New York - August 29, 2018
1. SOUNDBITE (English) Gov. Andrew Cuomo, (D) New York
HOST: "Can you promise the voters of New York right here, right now tonight, that if you win re-election that you won't run for president and spend the next four years as governor?"
CUOMO: "Yes. Yes. Yes and yes. Double yes."
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Gov. Andrew Cuomo, (D) New York
"The only caveat is if God strikes me dead. Otherwise, I will serve four years as governor of New York."
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Cynthia Nixon, (D) New York Gubernatorial Candidate
"And I'm not an Albany insider like Governor Cuomo. But I think that experience doesn't mean that much if you're not actually good at governing."
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Cynthia Nixon, (D) New York Gubernatorial Candidate AND Gov. Andrew Cuomo, (D) New York
NIXON: "He used the MTA (New York city public transportation system) Like an ATM and we've seen the result. He has had seven and a half years to avoid this very avoidable crisis in our New York City subway, and he has done next to nothing. Why would the next four years be any different?"
CUOMO: "My opponent lives in the world the fiction, I live in the world of fact. Let's do a few facts.The subway system is owned by New York City..."
NIXON: "The MTA has been controlled by the state since 1965."
CUOMO: "Can you stop interrupting?"
NIXON: "Can you stop lying?"
CUOMO: "As soon as you do."
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Cynthia Nixon, (D) New York Gubernatorial Candidate
"Joe Percoco was his most trusted adviser and he is heading to jail -- to prison. Either Joe Percoco was doing something that the governor expected him to do and advised him to do or his right hand man was doing something under his own nose that he had no idea about. So it's either incompetence or corruption. Which is it?"
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Gov. Andrew Cuomo, (D) New York
"And my father said Never underestimate the ability of smart people to do stupid things. And that's exactly what happened here. He's going to pay a terrible price. I, as attorney general, have always said that public trust comes job one."
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Gov. Andrew Cuomo, (D) New York
"Here is my ethics plan. No outside income period, period. Full financial disclosure and campaign finance reform because we have to take the money out of politics. It's that simple."
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and former "Sex and the City" star Cynthia Nixon swapped insults and clashed over policy Wednesday in their only scheduled debate before the Sept. 13 Democratic primary.
While the testy, hourlong exchange at Hofstra University featured plenty of interruptions and insults, neither candidate landed the political equivalent of a knockout blow likely to significantly alter the race.
Cuomo did make news during the debate, saying in response to a question about his political future that he plans to serve a full four years and will not run for president if elected to a third term. Cuomo had been considered a potential presidential contender.
Cuomo had been considered a possible presidential contender in 2020 but he brushed off that speculation when asked by a moderator if he would pledge to serve four years if re-elected.
"Yes, yes, yes and yes," he said in response.
Nixon, a longtime liberal activist, went after the incumbent early in the debate, calling Cuomo corrupt and a liar.
She accused him of empowering Republicans in Albany and not doing enough to address political corruption, income inequality or New York City's aging subways.
"I'm not an Albany insider like Gov. Cuomo but I think experience doesn't mean that much if you're not good at governing," she said.
Cuomo responded by saying Nixon "lives in a world of fiction" and doesn't understand the challenges of leading the nation's fourth largest state.
Polls suggest Cuomo has a more than 30 percentage point lead over Nixon, who also trails substantially in fundraising. Observers had predicted that Nixon would attempt to rattle the governor in the hopes that he would misspeak.
"Can you stop interrupting?" Cuomo asked at one point.
"Can you stop lying?" Nixon fired back.
Nixon attempted to tie Cuomo to the recent conviction of his former top aide, Joe Percoco, on charges that he accepted bribes from companies seeking state economic development funds. She said Cuomo was either complicit or ignorant about what was going on in his administration. "Either corruption or incompetence, which is it?"
Cuomo responded that he didn't know about Percoco's activities and said he would push for greater ethics reforms if re-elected.
The Democratic primary winner faces Republican Marc Molinaro, Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins and independent Stephanie Miner in November. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in New York by more than 2-1.
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