September 27th, 2010
04:40 PM ET
4 years ago

Lazio drops out but doesn't back GOP candidate

(CNN) - Republican Rick Lazio is dropping his bid for governor of New York, but he's not endorsing the man who beat him in the state's GOP primary.

The former congressman from Long Island announced Monday that he will not run for governor as the Conservative Party nominee, saying "I have decided to step aside."


Earlier this month, Buffalo businessman and developer Carl Paladino defeated Lazio 62 to 38 percent in New York's primary contest for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. Paladino enjoyed the support of many Tea Party activists while Lazio was considered the choice of establishment Republicans. But Lazio did capture the Conservative Party's endorsement, and could have continued his bid for governor, running November's general election against Paladino and New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee.

"While my heart beckons me forward, my head tells me that my continued presence on the Conservative line would simply lead to the election of Andrew Cuomo and the continuation of an entrenched political machine. I do not want to be responsible for that, and that is unacceptable," Lazio told reporters at a mid-day news conference in New York City.

But Lazio did not endorse Paladino.

"I strongly believe that Andrew Cuomo cannot bring about change. But I remain unconvinced that Carl Paladino will bring about the improvement that New Yorkers need, deserve, and want." said Lazio.

Surveys suggest that Paladino's odds increase in a two person race rather than a three person field. A Marist College poll of likely voters released last week indicated that Cuomo held a 52 to 33 percent lead over Paladino, with nine percent backing Lazio. But according to a Quinnipiac University survey of likely voters that was also released last week, Cuomo led Paladino 49 to 43 percent in a two person contest.

As for the primary results, Lazio didn't sugarcoat the results: "Yes I am disappointed about the results of the Republican primary. It wasn't enough and I accept those results."

Surveys suggest that Paladino's odds increase in a two person race rather than a three person field. A Marist College poll of likely voters released last week indicated that Cuomo held a 52 to 33 percent lead over Paladino, with nine percent backing Lazio. But according to a Quinnipiac University survey of likely voters that was also released last week, Cuomo led Paladino 49 to 43 percent in a two person contest.

The winner in November will succeed Democratic Gov. David Paterson, who earlier this year announced that he would not run for a full term in office.

– CNN Producer Raelyn Johnson contributed to this report

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN


Filed under: 2010 • New York • Rick Lazio
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Whatever

    I guess they don't realize that the polls will scare people out to the polls. So if you show a close race, it will ensure the Dems win! If Paladino gets into office every one that is not white better move out of the state including all the women (since he likes to send hate filled and pornographic emails). Sad day in America or should I say the State of NY if he becomes their governor. YIPES!!!!!

    September 27, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  2. Clwyd

    Finally, a smart republican!

    September 27, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Classic:

    SANCHEZ: How do you feel - what is your position on abortion?

    PALADINO: No.

    SANCHEZ: Should a woman have a right to have an abortion if she's - if she's been raped?

    PALADINO: No.

    SANCHEZ: She should not? She should have to have the baby?

    PALADINO: And the baby can be adopted, yes.

    SANCHEZ: What if it's - what if it's a case of incest?

    PALADINO: The baby can be adopted, yes.

    Thanks, Rick, for asking just a couple simple questions and letting him say what he really thinks. Paladino is a misogynistic, absolutist, anti-equal rights, anti-constitution, dogmatic fundamentalist, self-serving ideologue. He represents everything wrong with social conservatives...and he will hopefully win so everyone can see just how bad they are: America isn't going to learn its lesson until there is no America left to learn its lesson.

    September 27, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  4. Obozo VooDoo Economics 101: Spend your way to prosperity, tax your way out of recession.

    How many states (and countrys) do the DemocRATS have to bankrupt before stupid Americans wake up and smell the coffee??!! Their policies to turn everybody into a government dependent are insane. If you work for a living, they believe they are entitled to unimited amounts of your hard earned money. Their spending and greed knows no bounds.

    When they "redistribute all the wealth" and it still isn't enough, then what??!! Their policies have only one goal, to make EVERYBODY POOR. Then life will be fair according to their warped value system.

    September 27, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  5. Keep RepubliCANTS OUT!!

    Awesome News!!! We're so glad Lazio dropped out as he should! New York is overwhelmingly Democrat. People need to vote for Democrats in November and push out all of the RepubliCANTS out of office. New York Must Stay Democrat! We don't need to go back to the failed policies of the past. We need to keep Democrat officials who will get us through all the things Republicans want to take away. Important matters such as Social Security, Medicare, Human Rights, etc. With Republicans in office, we can only go backward. We need forward thinking Democrats to hold state-wide office to preserve what is most near and dear to our hearts as we grow older.

    We can no longer depend on Republicans to sustain our Social Security and Medicare benefits as they want to come in and change all of that. In the meantime we will be SHORTCHANGED. That's not what we need nor want. And Sharron Angle from Nevada, a Republican Tea Partier, wants to do just that. She wants to do away with Social Security and Medicare benefits as they are now. Perhaps she can afford to pay out of her own pocket for medical visits, hospital stays, and other necessities. Most others cannot but with her in office, you can sure kiss Social Security and Medicare goodbye!

    As for Lazio, Goodbye Lazio! Don't Let The Door Hit Your Hiney On the Way OUT! And thanks for your decision!

    September 27, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  6. T'SAH from Vriginia

    I wouldn't endorse that STINK MANIAC either!!! And YOU, Lazio, staying in the race have NOthing to do with Cuomo winning or losing – Cuomo will win REGARDLESS – so you may as well 'back him up"...LOL

    Anyway – DEMOCRATS in NY – stick together and UNITE the BASE and get out and VOTE!!! Pal – lin – around – with ‘dino is a no, NO for NY – he STINKS, literally!!!

    T'SAH – the Original Liberal and a Native New Yorker – approve this message!!

    September 27, 2010 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  7. F

    Lazio the bootlicker. Priceless.

    September 27, 2010 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. The weird professor..

    Talking about BILL MAHER...Have you noticed how his show starts this season: "Viewers discrection is advised"

    Most guest appearing on his show in 2010 will be required to use foul language..."F.....oops,etc" During the '90 the requirement then to get on the weird looking professor "BILL MAHER' show was to look weird and talk stupid, called politically incorrect ! So, the then young and naive Christine O'Donnell obliged on both counts and now in 2010 Bill Maher is holding it against her and wants to create a scandal.......................................................!

    September 27, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  9. Monrob

    That corn-face Lazio can't win one.

    September 27, 2010 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |