Cuomo Quits New York's Governor's Race

By Daniel Guido | July 7, 2008 | 8:29 PM EDT

( - Andrew Cuomo - tanking in the polls - withdrew from the New York governor's race Tuesday, one week before the Democratic primary. At a news conference attended by former President Bill Clinton this afternoon, Cuomo announced he is qutting and throwing his support behind his rival, Carl McCall.

Over the weekend McCall marched in a Brooklyn parade with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, while Cuomo's supporters considered what the New York Post called "the stunning decline of a once-promising campaign."

Wire reports and cable TV channels said aides to Cuomo and McCall were "talking" on Tuesday, and Cuomo reportedly was asking for a "high-profile role" in the McCall campaign before quitting and throwing his support to McCall, which has received the endorsement of the New York Times.

Polls show Republican Gov. George Pataki leading both Democrats and that Cuomo is well behind McCall. Pataki is running for a third term. Cuomo's pre-primary endorsement of McCall could help Cuomo, a former Clinton cabinet member, get through this loss but maintain a viable chance to run for governor in the future. McCall would benefit from the lack of pre-primary conflict with Cuomo in that McCall's race against Pataki should be easier.

"We laid out a full reform agenda ... (including) campaign finance reform, raising the minimum wage ... We talked about issues people did not want to talk about: poverty, wage inequality, racism, discrimination," Cuomo said.

"But we had too many good ideas ... we end(ed) up communicating nothing." Cuomo said campaign consultants advised him to run negative TV ads about McCall to catch up. "I could not do that," Cuomo said. He said he took full blame for any mistakes in his campaign. More to come.