Stand down, policy wonks and 2016 watchers. It wasn’t meant to be.
A verbal joust between two potential presidential candidates in 2016 doesn’t appear to be happening, after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday he isn’t likely to entertain Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s challenge to debate.
“I don’t think so,” Cuomo said with a slight grin when asked about Perry’s debate challenge, which the Texas Republican laid out on an Albany radio program Tuesday.
Instead, Cuomo touted New York’s new Start-Up NY program, which lifts most taxes on approved businesses for 10 years if they locate in certain zones, mostly near colleges.
“I believe it makes it the least-expensive place in the country to site a business,” Cuomo, a Democrat, told reporters. “I understand if other state’s are jealous about what we’re doing, but you know, that’s what it is. What can I tell you?”
Perry is in New York City through Thursday in an attempt to lure businesses to his home state.
On Albany’s WGDJ-AM on Tuesday, he urged Cuomo to agree to a debate on their respective states’ economic policies and what they’re doing to create jobs.
“I’d love to sit down with the governor and have a public conversation, a debate, whatever format each of us would like to work in,” Perry told host Fred Dicker on Tuesday. “I think it would be a thoughtful, constructive conversation for the country to watch, and for the citizens of both of our states to watch and participate in, as well.”
Cuomo said he doesn’t have any plans to go to Perry’s home state to try and poach businesses.
“No, I’m staying here,” he said with a laugh.
Here’s Cuomo’s exchange with reporters:
(AP Photo/Justin Hayworth, John Minchillo)