Rick Lazio, a GOP candidate, met your correspondent to discuss his campaign to become Governor of New York:
Rick Andrew Carl: The mainstream press seems to think Andrew Cuomo will win this race running away, and the polls back them up. How can you win?
RL: The press judges things too early. We'll keep delivering our message to the voters.
RAC: What is your message?
RL: People are tired of career politicians, insiders, special interests and lobbyists controlling government. I'll change that.
RAC: You served four terms in Congress, worked as a lobbyist for the past nine years, and have taken over $50 million in contributions from special interests in your political campaigns. Aren't you the ultimate insider?
RL: That's why I'm perfect for the job. It's like having the fox guard the henhouse. I know all their tricks because I've done them myself.
RAC: Isn't the fox guarding the henhouse a bad thing?
RL: Only if it's a bad fox.
RAC: Some conservatives call you a RINO (Republican In Name Only) because you voted with Democrats quite a bit while in Congress.
RL: You can't worry about attacks like that. I vote the way my contributors want.
RAC: You mean your constituents?
RL: Same thing.
RAC: In your campaign you've criticized Andrew Cuomo for his work at HUD. But when you were in Congress you supervised him and in 2004 you patted him on the back for his work. Why criticize him now?
RL: It's different now. Back then we were working for the same people. Now he's backed by real estate interests and I'm backed by Wall Street.
RAC: And you're both supported by Al D'Amato. Some say you've been put up because you can't beat Cuomo and you make the path easy for him.
RL: Well that's just silly. I'm in it to win of course.
RAC: So they haven't told you?
RL: I don't listen to nonsense like that, even if it comes from Al.
RAC: What about Carl Paladino?
RL: We've been working on this for months now, and others pop up and disappear. There was Rudy Giuliani, Chris Collins, then Steve Levy, and now it's Paladino. He'll fade.
RAC: How can you get the Tea Party movement behind your campaign?
RL: They'll get behind me as we head toward November. They don't want to go back to the days of Mario Cuomo with his son. They know that a candidate with a five-letter last name ending in "o" is a sign of more big government.
RAC: Five letters ending in "o"? Whatever. So what about third-party candidates like Howie Hawkins?
RL: Never heard of him. But it's a great porn star name.
RAC: And Warren Redlich?
RL: Never heard of him either, and I don't like him.
RAC: Your bank got a huge bailout and you got a $1.3 million bonus. With that background, how can you be an agent for change?
RL: I've got a lot of loose change. I'll use it.