The administration of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tried to hit back at the press on Sunday for supposedly misunderstanding his Friday morning statement to Susan Arbetter on the public radio show "Capitol Pressroom" that "extreme conservatives ... have no place in New York." As I noted on Saturday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the Governor made it clear that "extreme conservatives" include those who are right to life, understand the clear meaning of the Second Amendment, and believe in traditional marriage.
But to go after the press, Cuomo's people had to find a news outlet besides a public radio station which actually reported on what he said. Even though his Friday remarks were self-evidently newsworthy, that appears to have been pretty difficult. The Associated Press's national site still doesn't have a story; nor does the New York Times or the Politico. Cuomo's peeps chose to go after the New York Post, whose Aaron Short went to the next step in Cuomo's stated logic in running a story headlined "Gov. Cuomo to conservatives: Leave NY!." Team Cuomo's response in full follows the jump (bolds are mine; words Cuomo's people left out are in caps; other words Cuomo didn't say are crossed out):
Open Letter to the Editor Regarding New York Post Story "Gov. Cuomo to conservatives: Leave NY" published on Saturday, January 18th, 2014.
The New York Post distorted Governor Cuomo’s words yesterday, saying that the Governor said "conservatives should leave New York." The Governor did not say that, nor does he believe that. 
If you read the transcript (below), it is clear that the Governor was making the observation that an extreme right candidate cannot win statewide because this is a politically moderate state (either moderate Republican or moderate Democratic). 
Stop. Right. There.
As will be seen, the Governor's people didn't provide the whole transcript, and "oddly" left out a few pejorative words (again, words in caps were NOT in the incomplete "transcript" the governor's people provided; Arbetter's questions and banter are not included):
In the same response, the Governor went on to say "it is fine" to be anti-gun control, and anti-choice”  – as he respects both positions.
The Post can allow any person they want to publish in their paper but if they are to retain any credibility they cannot be entirely reckless with facts and the truth.
Yeah, I think that that is actually, I don’t think that that is right Susan. I think it is a very important point, but I don’t think it is that I’m less of a democrat, I think what you are seeing is, you have a schism within the Republican Party. You have the Republican Party IS searching for AN identity; they are searching to define their soul. That is what is going on. It Is the Republican Party that IN THIS STATE is it a moderate party or is it an EXTREME conservative party?  That is what they are trying to figure out and it is very interesting because it is a mirror of what is going on in Washington, right? The gridlock in Washington is less about democrats and republicans. It is more about extreme republicans versus moderate republicans. And a the moderate republicanS in Washington can’t figure out how to deal with the extreme republicans. And the moderate republicans are affair AFRAID of the extreme conservative republicans in Washington in my opinion.
You’ve seen that play out in New York, their SAFE act, the Republican Party candidates are running against the SAFE Act. It was voted for by moderate republicans who run the Senate. Their problem is not me and THE democrats, their problem is themselves. Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives, who are right to life, pro assault weapon, anti-gay, is that who they are?  Because if that is who they are, and if they are the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York. Because that is not who New Yorkers are. 
IF THEY'RE Moderate republicans like in the Senate right now and WHO control the senate, Moderate republicans have a place in this state.  George Pataki was governor of this state as a moderate republican. But not as what you are hearing from them on the far right AND not this clash that you are getting from the quote unquote power brokers of the party now. We are right to life, we are pro assault weapon or anti-gay …
WHOEVER. LOOK AT THEIR POSITIONS, AND YOU SEE A GREAT BATTLE OF POSITIONS THAT ARE NOW BEING CRITICIZED THAT WERE PASSED BY THE MODERATE REPUBLICANS IN THE SENATE, Y'KNOW.
AND That's what's going to play out this year. Who are the Republicans, and who wins between the extreme conservatives and the moderates?
... Well that was planned anyway, I think he did that in reaction to the meets we were having. You know moderate republicans, I work with, moderate republicans passed my agenda, for the past three years. They want to criticize my record? My record was passed by the moderate republicans, so they are criticizing themselves and this really isn’t about me Susan. This is who are they? And who is going to win between the conservative republicans, the extremely conservative republicans and the moderately conservative republicans.  And literally look at the issues that they pick, are we right to life or are we pro-choice? Well if you are right to life, AND that is your opinion and that’s your religious belief, that is fine but that is not the opinion of this state, THIS STATE IS which IS 70% are A pro-choice in this state. “Well we are anti-gun control”, that is fine.
70% of this state wants intelligent gun control. “WELL, We don’t agree with gay marriage, we are anti-gay” , that is fine but 70% of this state about, is now pro-gay marriage so figure out who you are and figure out if you are of a extreme conservative philosophy and can survive in this state. And the answer is no.
 – At its most conceivably narrow interpretation, Cuomo said that members of the Republican Party who hold the "extreme" positions identified at the beginning of this post "have no place in the state of New York." That will be proven in the remaining notes.
 – Cuomo made no reference to "moderate Democrats" in the interview.
 – Note that Cuomo's people left out "anti-gay," even though being "anti-gay" (i.e., being against same-sex marriage) was one of Cuomo's three positions qualifying opponents for self-banishment.
 – Note well that the choices at this moment are between "moderate" and "extreme conservative." There is no mention of "conservatives" without an adjective. Cuomo appears to betray a belief that anyone holding a position most would call "conservative" (I prefer "sensible," but that's just me) is "extreme."
 and  – "Anti-gay" is mentioned here, even though Cuomo's people skipped over it in their note to the Post.
 – At this point, Cuomo is limiting his "no place in this state" assertion to New York State Senate candidates who hold the views he considers "extreme."
 – Here's where Cuomo broadened his assertion. If he had said that "Moderate Republicans have a place in the State Senate," he would still have a defense. But that's not what he said. He said that "Moderate Republicans have a place in the State. Therefore "extreme" Republicans as he defines them do not, period.
 – I believe Cuomo caught himself here and realized as shown in Point  that he had characterized all conservatives as extreme. But far more importantly, this statement also broadens his brush to include Republican Party members in general, simply because the only way for someone to "win" a contest between moderate Republicans and "extreme Republicans" is to have a vote of the Republican Party electorate, aka the primary elections on June 24.
So, in sum: Nice try, Team Andy. No sale.
Your guy said that there is no place in the State of New York for "extremely conservative" Republicans as he defines them. It's not arguable – and the fact that it's not arguable goes a long way towards explaining why the vast majority of the establishment press is trying to pretend to know nothing (one example here) about what he said.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.