4:27pm

Fri October 26, 2012
Politics

Cuomo brings popularity to Syracuse to stump for Maffei

Gov. Andrew Cuomo brought his high popularity numbers to Syracuse Friday to campaign with a fellow Democrat who is in a tight congressional race.

Cuomo fired up a crowd at a union hall for about eight minutes before handing the microphone over to Dan Maffei.

Maffei is trying to unseat Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R - Onondaga Hill), whom he lost to two years ago by 648 votes. Polls have the race just as tight again this time. They're running along with Green Party candidate Ursula Rozum in the redrawn 24th District.

Cuomo, who stumped for representatives Kathy Hochul and Louise Slaughter in Rochester before stopping in Syracuse, began his remarks by knocking the GOP presidential ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

"They’re going to cut the Medicaid funding by a third and then give it to me to run Medicaid. You know what I say to that? 'No thank you,'" he said. "You know what we call that? We call that passing the buck without passing the bucks. That’s what that is."

Cuomo said the policies of Republicans in Washington will "wreak havoc" on New York. He told the roughly 100 people in attendance Maffei won't play politics in Washington.

"And that’s why Congressman Dan Maffei has to be Congressman Dan Maffei because he will represent the people of this district. He will not play politics. He will bust the gridlock."

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, who is also the co-chair of the New York Democratic Party, kicked off the rally.

When it was his turn to take the microphone, Maffei hit on many of his campaign platforms including support for the middle class, a return of manufacturing jobs to the region and high speed rail. He got good applause when he touched on woman's rights, a hot-button issue in this election.

"If you want to make sure that every American, every central New Yorker gets a fair shot, gets what they need and they can live the life we know we all want to lead," he said. "If you give the opportunity for everyone to have that fair shot, then you have to vote for me."

Cuomo is planning on campaigning in the next week on the national stage for President Obama. Cuomo said after the rally his schedule was weather dependent as Hurricane Sandy could hit the East Coast next week.

While Maffei was at the rally, Buerkle and Rozum were at a town hall meeting in Clay.

You can follow reporter Ryan Delaney on Twitter @RyanWRVO