New York’s Republican gubernatorial candidate, Rob Astorino, a proud church going man, outdid himself this past Sunday. Newsday reported that, included in his seven scheduled “downstate” visits, were stops at five churches in “communities of color”. In Freeport they were the: Perfecting Faith Pentecostal Church, Freeport Bible Center and Zion Cathedral Church in Christ. Astorino also spoke at the Upper Room Christian World Center in Dix Hills and Bethany Baptist Church in Brooklyn.
There are a bunch of reasons he was welcomed to the point of receiving standing ovations in precincts not used to warmly greeting Republicans. While citing New York’s sky high taxes, a poor business climate, unacceptably high unemployment numbers, “the worst economic outlook in America”, and corruption scandals, Astorino also connected with his minority audiences in a very personal way.
- Rob defended himself against Cuomo’s charges that“…any New Yorker who is pro-life, pro-traditional marriage has no place in New York”. Astorino continued, the governor, “….has labeled me, because of those views that I have, as an extremist. But I say to you, if we share those values, then when he (Cuomo) attacks me, he’s attacking you, too.”
- Said Astorino, “What’s happening today, is a whitewashing of religion and God from everything. And if you don’t take a stand, it will be gone before you know it.”
- Requesting that the church goers join him, “I ask that you vote your values, not necessarily your party, whatever that party may be, because sometimes they don’t align.”
- At one 8:30 a.m. service attended by Hispanic Americans from the Caribbean, and Central America, New York State’s GOP candidate “clapped his hands and sang along by reading song lyrics off a projector screen”. Astorino then went on to speak in fluent Spanish about his race against Cuomo and denounced Common Core academic standards as “a disaster”. The crowd erupted in applause.
Standing ovations and enthusiastic responses from “people of color”, while generally unique for Republicans, are not completely new to Rob Astorino. He has passionately sought minority votes and been rewarded for his wholehearted effort. The results speak for themselves. In diverse, 2-1 Democrat Westchester County, Astorino has won back to back races for Executive by double digit margins. He’s successfully done what his fellow GOPers promise to do, but more often than not, don’t do.
Mr. Astorino also has a lot of other things going for him. He’s very bright, quick on his feet, smart on the issues, personable, affable, hip, approachable and funny. Apparently the latter is a gene he’s passed along to his 11 year old boy. If you haven’t seen the two videos, one starring Dad and son, Sean, take a look:
It’s no wonder Andrew Cuomo won’t answer Rob’s challenge to have 8 debates across New York State. If Andy refused to face off against his novice, college professor, Democrat primary challenger even once, it’s going to be tough getting him to “man up” and go one on one against a guy so profoundly rooted in his beliefs he’s eager to share them in neighborhoods where few Republicans have gone before.
What’s got to be even scarier for Cuomo….Rob Astorino is leaving these communities to loud applause and standing ovations.