Rick Lazio, seen here in this file photo, has come to the defense of embattled Gov. David Paterson.
Republican candidate for governor Rick Lazio is coming to the defense of Democratic Gov. David Paterson, who he says is being undermined by the unannounced campaign of Democrat Andrew Cuomo.
Lazio referred to a New York Times report Monday that quoted unidentified people close to the Cuomo 2010 campaign saying the popular attorney general and advisers are discussing who should be on next year's Democratic ticket. In addition to his job, Cuomo is a leading voice in the state Democratic Party.
In an open letter today, Lazio writes:
"If you think you can do a better job than Governor Paterson, why don't you say so publicly....You've been in Albany for the past two and a half years, and you have been a part of Albany culture for decades, but have never taken on the failing legislative leadership when you could have.”
The political maneuvering apparently came as Paterson has been trying to muster Democratic support in the Legislature for his deficit reduction plan.
Lazio says Cuomo is hurting Paterson's efforts to deal with the fiscal crisis.
There was no immediate comment from Cuomo's campaign or Paterson.