Ford's Flub on NY Budget Gives Gillibrand Camp Ammo

By Melissa Russo
|  Thursday, Jan 21, 2010  |  Updated 5:29 PM EDT
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Ford's Flub on NY Budget Gives Gillibrand Camp Ammo

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Gilibrand vs. Ford. Is it on?

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Former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. handed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand a bit of potential ammunition today after flubbing a question about the size of the New York State budget. 

During an appearance in Rockland County this morning, Ford was asked if he knew the size of this year's budget. Ford reportedly responded that he knew the size of the deficit but not the size of the budget. That could give fodder to team Gillibrand in their effort to paint Ford as an out-of-touch out-of-towner. So far Gillibrand's staff hasn't taken the bait. 

For the record, Ford did correctly state the size of the state's deficit at $7.5 billion. Ford spokesman Davidson Goldin said, "Harold is concerned about the size of the deficit and that's why serving New Yorkers would be his top priority if he runs for Senate as an independent Democrat."

Though Ford is from Tennessee, the former Congressman wants New Yorkers to believe he's no stranger to the Empire State's problems. In his latest op-ed in Thursday's Daily News, Ford warned about soaring Medicaid costs from health reform. He's been portraying Gillibrand as a professional politician who votes with a "narrow, insulated, self-reinforcing elite. That's not me," Ford writes, "And that makes them worried."
 
Ford also said Scott Brown's Republican victory in the Massachussets Senate race should be viewed as a "wake up call" for incumbents.

But Gillibrand adviser Jefrey Pollock said there's no comparison to be made.

"Harold Ford Jr. is certainly no Scott Brown," Pollock said. "The Senator has done and will continue to do the work necessary to win as she did in her two previous elections. "

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