Real estate mogul Donald Trump headlined an Onondaga County Republican Committee fundraiser Tuesday night at a hotel in DeWitt, a Syracuse suburb.
Trump, who has been mentioned as a potential 2014 Republican gubernatorial candidate, covered a variety of national and state issues in his 30-minute speech. He also talked about the only Republican in the governor's race, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, and the two problems Astorino faces as he launches his campaign.
Here are 10 things Trump said in his speech about Astorino, Cuomo and the issues facing New York:
(1) On taxes: "You have to reduce taxes in this state or you're just not going to have any base. You're going to end up being another Detroit and it's not going to take very long."
(2) On education and state spending: "Then you look at the bloated state government. It's unbelievable. When you see the kind of money that they spend. Now, we spend more per student than any state in the United States. And yet, from a test standpoint, we have among the worst results."
(3) On the NY SAFE Act, the state gun control law passed by the state Legislature in January 2013: "You have the SAFE Act, which is a total catastrophe. It's hard to believe it even got passed. Look, you're sitting at home and a bad guy walks in with a gun. At least you want to have a shot at it, right? You don't want to be defenseless... But this SAFE Act is a disaster. Whoever ultimately is going to be the nominee for the Republicans, they better bring it up very loud and clear because that act is a catastrophe. I call it the unSAFE Act."
(4) On the state's debt: "The state has almost $400 billion in debt. What are they going to do? They're going to have a problem because, again, the tax base is eroding rapidly, so they're going to have a problem. A lot of other people are leaving and a lot of companies are leaving."
(5) On Rob Astorino: "Rob Astorino is a very nice guy. I've known him for a long time. He's a good man. He's got two problems. He's got no name recognition, which I think is a problem that's solvable with some work. But I do believe that's solvable. And he's got no money. That's not so easily solvable."
(6) On the state's Start-Up NY ads: "Over and over, they play an ad. 'Come to New York and you won't pay tax... What's unfair is two things. Number one, what about all the people that are dying up here from paying taxes? They don't get anything. If you come to New York with a new company that's going to compete with somebody that's been paying taxes for the last 30 years up here, you don't pay taxes and they do. And number two, who's going to come to New York anyway because at the end of 10 years, you'll make your company nice and strong and then you're going to be the highest paid and taxed company in the country. So who wants to build a company to know that in 10 years, they're essentially going to take your company away? So it's not going to work."
(7) On Cuomo not making a decision on natural gas drilling in the Southern Tier: "For whatever reason, he's not allowing you to go down and get that energy and get all that money and get all those jobs and make the state successful. It's the single biggest thing you could do to take the state and shake it and make it great."
(8) On energy and how it could help boost the state's economy: "New York has potential that is absolutely incredible. New York could be a true energy capital of the world. We have a location that's incredible. We have the sea for delivery. We have so many things going, but we're not being allowed to take that energy out. And that's one of the solutions that you could do because again, you can't just pay off the almost $400 billion in debt. You have to do much better than that. You have to come out and you have to reduce people's taxes because you're just not going to have the people left. So you need something. Energy is the key to New York."
(9) On the Republican Party's chances in November: "When you're presiding over a state that's No. 1 in the nation for losing population, which by the way makes your tax situation worse. And when you're presiding over a state that has the highest taxes and in most cases by far, in the entire United States, then I think that's a very bad sound bite. Now I may be wrong. Maybe some people that aren't very intelligent would like it... But I think most people aren't going to like it. And I think it's an amazing way for the Republicans to go out and get elected. Now, I have to say this. The Republicans do have a chance because of those stats."
(10) On the Syracuse basketball team and head coach Jim Boeheim: "I think they have a great coach. I speak as a little bit of an outsider where I've watched him for so many years and he's just been solid, solid, solid. He wins and he just keeps winning and no problems... But I think you have a great coach, you have a great basketball team and I hope they do very well in the coming weeks because it's going to be very interesting."