Democrat Sean Eldridge, the 26-year-old spouse of Facebook “poke” button pioneer Chris Hughes, and candidate for a New York House seat continues to have a rough month.
His opponent Rep. Chris Gibson (R., N.Y.) on Thursday said Eldridge has “no experience” and argued “he’s trying to buy an election.”
“He married into money. He did well on that score. Anything that I’m saying here you can’t refute it. These are just facts. He moved into the district after the last election. He has relatively no experience. He has absolutely no ties to the districts and it shows in the issues,” Gibson said on YNN.
“So, when you look at it in contrast. So, you have somebody who’s actually in a very stressful time and a time when folks are looking for more harmony, for working together to solve problems. You’ve actually got somebody who is doing it. Then you’ve got somebody who moved in the district, who is using money to buy an election, and is completely out of touch with the district. That’s the point,” Gibson added.
Gibson’s full remarks are available below:
YNN’s LIZ BENJAMIN: “Well, you know, your opponent Sean Eldridge is making an issue, even though you voted against, the Ryan budget and you now have a pattern of voting against it, he is making an issue of it anyway, accusing you of flip-flopping.”
REP. CHRIS GIBSON: “Well, here’s the thing on this. I just explained to you that the budget that we enacted in December was the one budget that mattered. It actually came about because of a group I’m a leader in, No Labels. We brought forward ‘no budget, no pay.’ Simple concept, right, pretty novel.”
BENJAMIN: “Well we have it here in Albany.”
REP. GIBSON: “Well, it’s important.”
BENJAMIN: “It didn’t work so well for many years, but now that there’s a different situation, but we do have it.”
REP. GIBSON: “Well, indeed. And so this actually was the catalyst for us to get the first budget, and that was the first federal budget in five years, and No Labels helped that happen. I’m a leader in that group. But if you want to talk about central issues, my opponent himself. Beyond the fact that I said service is the best form of re-election strategy, my opponent enters as a major issue in this campaign. Look, at the age of 26, he moves into our district. He has relatively no experience. He has absolutely no ties to the district and he files for candidacy within a month of moving into the district after the last election. Now, keep in mind that this is a district that Obama, President Obama carried by six points. We won at the same time the same voters by six points. But you would think in a district thusly defined that there would be successful Democrats throughout the district, who serve their constituents, have a record of accomplishment, and you’d be right. They’re all, I mean just to name several…”
BENJAMIN: “So you’re saying you can think of better opponents than this one?”
REP. GIBSON: “Oh my, well, what I’m saying is the Democratic Party would have so many other candidates that could come forward and be very focused candidates and be formidable, but so let me just follow through on this point.”
BENJAMIN: “Go ahead.”
REP. GIBSON: “The one reason, the only reason, and I’m open to learning here, the only reason why this guy is the candidate is money. It’s money, that’s the only reason.”
BENJAMIN: “Well that’s interesting that you say that, yes, he raised $525,000 in the first quarter but his husband, who is very wealthy because he was the co-founder of Facebook, pitched in $250,000. So he is raising money, but he is also getting a lot of money because he is a self-funder thanks to his partner. And I was surprised because you actually, generally don’t go on the offensive. Right now you have said some fairly strong…”
REP. GIBSON: “Truthful.”
BENJAMIN: “But also strong things about your opponent. You also said in this story that Politico wrote that he married well. He married well, he married into money.”
REP. GIBSON: “He married into money. He did well on that score. Anything that I’m saying here you can’t refute it. These are just facts. He moved into the district after the last election. He has relatively no experience. He has absolutely no ties to the districts and it shows in the issues. And I mentioned he is an issue for this campaign. It’s not just that he’s trying to buy an election. It’s the fact that issues he brings forward, he shows that he is out of touch with his district.”
BENJAMIN: “Well, like what?”
REP. GIBSON: “He criticizes me for opposing energy taxes. After coming through the winter we just came through, with everybody paying up through the roof for our energy costs, for our electricity bills, which have doubled, and so my opponent criticizes me for opposing energy taxes? I don’t know where he is from that he would be for energy taxes, but when he criticizes me for opposing energy taxes he shows he is not from here.”
BENJAMIN: “So that is gonna be the central theme of this campaign that you will argue is he out of the district and a carpetbagger?”
REP. GIBSON: “Well, look, I will tell you the number one issue is I’m doing the job that people have sent me there to do. Service is the best form of re-election strategy. When you look at my voting record it matches the district, my leadership in No Labels, I’m coming through, I’m delivering on the issues that they want me to work on, and I’m part of the solution, not part of the problem. So, when you look at it in contrast. So, you have somebody who’s actually in a very stressful time and a time when folks are looking for more harmony, for working together to solve problems. You’ve actually got somebody who is doing it. Then you’ve got somebody who moved in the district, who is using money to buy an election, and is completely out of touch with the district. That’s the point.”