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Governor Cuomo Responds to Request for TWC News Debate

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Governor Cuomo Responds to Request for TWC News Debate
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Governor Andrew Cuomo sidestepped questions on Thursday as to whether he'll accept an invitation to debate his Democratic primary opponent, Fordham professor Zephyr Teachout.

"I'll leave that to the campaigns to work out and whatever they decide," said Gov. Cuomo, D-New York.

Time Warner Cable News and New York One have invited both Cuomo and his running mate, former Congresswoman Kathy Hochul, to debate their primary opponents, Teachout and her running mate, Columbia professor Tim Wu.

Cuomo, famous for being a hands-on governor and political strategist, insisted it wasn't up to him.

"I'll leave it to the campaigns to work out if there should be debates, who would participate, that's a campaign tactic I will leave to the campaigns," Cuomo said.

Both Teachout and Wu have accepted the invitations.

"I think these kinds of wide-open debates where we ask each other question really serve the people of the state New York," said Teachout.

Hochul, a former congresswoman from Buffalo, said recently she's open to debating Wu, but questioned whether there was time before the Sept. 9 primary.

"It's under consideration. There's a very short time frame. It's a very compacted time. We only just found out we had a primary opponent just a short time ago," said Hochul.

Cuomo, meanwhile, was not endorsed by the state's major public workers unions. The New York State United Teachers union is not endorsing, and so far neither has CSEA. Cuomo said that lack of an endorsement led to him not securing the backing of the AFL-CIO.

"The overwhemling number of labor unions in this state support me and I'm proud of that. The way it happens to work you can't get the AFL-CIO without those specific unions," Cuomo said.

Teachout, meanwhile, was endorsed by the Public Employees Federation, a labor group that has feuded with Cuomo over contracts and pension reform. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP