Andrew Cuomo received an endorsement from NARAL today on the steps of City Hall, backed by dozens of women holding “Women for Cuomo” signs.
The pro-choice lobbying group’s New York chapter has been pushing for the Reproductive Health Act, which would insure that abortion is regulated as an issue of public health and medical practice. The bill is currently stalled in the state senate.
“Andrew Cuomo will make sure this bill is passed into law,” said NARAL president Kelli Conlin.
Today’s endorsement was also meant as a condemnation of the Cuomo’s opponent Carl Paladino. The Republican/Tea Party candidate is opposed to all abortion, even in cases of rape or incest.
“This is a political view that’s out of touch with the people of the state. They do not believe or support these positions,” said Cuomo of Paladino’s views on reproductive rights.
Abortion issues have risen to the top of the Cuomo campaign agenda, if only to highlight the wide ideological gap between him and his opponent.
“That is a frightening position from a woman’s point of view and from a society’s point of view at large. It’s hard to even imagine in New York State, in 2010, that this would be the political discussion,” he later added.
In accepting the endorsement, Cuomo summarized Palladino’s equally-extreme take on other social issues: public education (he wants boarding schools for failing students), welfare (work camps in retro-fitted state prisons) and immigration (state police arrests of illegal immigrants in New York City).
This negative campaigning reflects his post-primary strategy, Cuomo explained–to show moderate voters the specific extremities of Paladino’s platform, while avoiding of the Tea Party as a movement.
“Mr. Paladino has his own Tea Party,” he said. “It’s an extreme brew.”