Maloney to Green: Step Off the Ledge

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Sean Patrick Maloney, to his credit, has run a resolutely positive campaign for attorney general — despite his unchanging position at or near the back of the pack contenders.

Maloney just called to say that he wishes Mark Green – who this week initiated what he promised would be a month-long series of attacks on Andrew Cuomo’s record — would follow his example and “step off the ledge” before dragging the whole pack of Democratic attorney general candidates to defeat in November.

“My position on it is Mark should knock it off,” he said of Green’s “comparison campaign. “I think it’s just what’s wrong with our politics and I don’t think it helps Democrats and I think it’s a weak substitute for having a vision for that office that’ll get people excited.”

Maloney said that he had seen Green operate this way before “to disastrous effect” and feared a repeat this time around. And said the late-campaign strategy of attacking Cuomo to make up a deficit in the polls was a “sign of desperation” that represents Green’s consultants “taking him over the edge and the rest of us with him.”

Maloney said it was the unveiling of Green’s negative ad campaign that prompted him to speak out. And no, in case you’re wondering about the similarity of his criticisms to those recently offered by a Cuomo supporter - Maloney said he has not spoken with the Cuomo people about any of it.

More quotes from the interview after the jump.

“I just think he ought to step back from the ledge. Come off the ledge, Mark — come back. Maybe its because I have little kids, but my view is Mark should knock it off before it gets out of hand. I think he’s getting ready to take us over the edge.”

“It’s not because I think Andrew Cuomo’s the best candidate in this race. I don’t… But Mark’s going to take things somewhere I don’t want to do. I think it turns people off about politics. It’s the old style burn-down-house approach.”

“If the consultants and big brains around him are telling him he’s got to take the gloves off or tear down Andrew Cuomo, I think they’re taking him over the edge and the rest of us with him.”

“He’s done this before to disastrous effect. I hear Mark on the campaign trail to talk about a ‘journey to justice’ he’s been on. But that journey to justice has been a detour through defeat.”

“I think he’s a good guy and he’s got a lot of good things to say. But to me it betrays a lack of confidence in the underlying rationale of his campaign.”

“Look, who cares? What are we talking about, Josh? Does anyone really care? Does anyone really believe Andrew wants to give cigarettes to kids on Indian reservations? You treat the voters like idiots when you do this stuff. This is like a job interview. If you walked into a job interview and spent the whole time tearing down the candidate who just left, would you get the job?”

“I think that right now, it is a sign of desperation and a mistake for Mark to put his eggs in this basket.”

“It’s not because I don’t want to win this race, and it’s not because I think Andrew’s the best candidate – I don’t think he is. It’s because I know where this is going, and it’s ugly.”

– Josh Benson