Trump operatives trying to clear GOP field for potential New York run for governorby George Bennett | January 18th, 2014
Part-time Palm Beacher and serial potential candidate Donald Trump is continuing to consider a Republican campaign for governor of New York — but only if GOP operatives in the Empire State clear the field for him, a Trump attorney said today.
Michael Cohen, a senior vice president and special counsel in the Trump Organization, met Friday with potential GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive, and told a handful of Trump supporters in an e-mail afterward that “Rob indicated that he is running for Governor and would not step aside and let Mr. Trump be the nominee. As you are aware, Mr. Trump would only run against (Democratic Gov. Andrew) Cuomo if the party could unite around one candidate and one who could win. This loss will be terrible for all of New York.”
That e-mail fueled speculation that Trump has ruled out a run for governor. But that’s not the case, Cohen told The Palm Beach Post today. Instead, Cohen characterized his e-mail as an effort to get Trump backers to ratchet up pressure on New York GOP leaders to keep other candidates out.
“There is nothing in the e-mail stating Mr. Trump will not run…The e-mail was nothing more than a call for action to the four individuals who have been actively involved in the Trump draft for Governor. The goal was to advise them of the meeting and to have them continue their calls to top GOP leaders and increase the growing support for Mr. Trump,” Cohen said.
Cohen added: “Only Mr. Trump can make a decision whether he will or will not run for Governor. Mr. Trump has not made a decision yet. Trump wants the Republican party to unite behind one candidate and one candidate who can win. Trump is the only individual who could defeat Cuomo, and possibly easily.”
Another leader of Draft Trump efforts, political consultant Michael Caputo, said he is continuing to try to line up support for Trump and considers Astorino’s interest in the governor’s race a “head fake.”
Tags: Donald Trump