New York Governor Andrew Cuomo doesn’t much like New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and he’s not shy about letting the world know it.
De Blasio has made noises in the past about wanting to run for governor. Failing that, he’s also slyly mentioned his wife as a possible candidate.
This, along with some bitter recriminations from both men about coronavirus deaths has poisoned the New York City-Albany relationship. It’s not good for state government, but if you’re a Republican, it’s very entertaining.
“The Democrats: there’ll be havoc like in New York City,” said Cuomo, mimicking a GOP mailer during a soft-ball interview with radio host Alan Chartock on upstate radio station WAMC.
“They ran de Blasio’s picture all over the state!” added the third-term governor. “They’ll turn New York State into New York City, looting and crime and homelessness, law and order!”
Cuomo’s remarks echo his own repeated attacks on de Blasio earlier this fall, where he too dubbed the Big Apple “dirty” riddled with a “homeless problem” and “rising crime.”
Cuomo is right about de Blasio’s picture being all over the TV in opposition campaign ads. But so was Cuomo’s picture.
“I believe the Republicans beat the Democrats on the messaging. I think they branded Democrats as anti-law and order and that hurt Democrats…the Republicans did that successfully,” he told Chartock at another point.
“They branded Democrats as anti-law and order and that hurt Democrats and that hurt Democrats. It was untrue. The Democrats — we are against the injustice in the criminal justice system we are against the racism and discrimination in policy.”
Of course, Cuomo was featured in those ads too. On the law-and-order issue, Republicans blasted Cuomo’s “no bail” proposal — especially after several criminals released without bail ended up committing other crimes. That wasn’t de Blasio’s fault. That’s all on Cuomo.
But it was de Blasio who came in for the lion’s share of criticism and mockery. Despite everything, Cuomo maintains a certain popularity statewide while de Blasio has been falling like a rock in the polls as New York City descends into third-world territory. Garbage littering the streets, homeless people everywhere, and a murder rate not seen since the turn of this century.
De Blasio defended himself at his daily news conference.
“I think what I’ll do going forward is just make sure I strongly endorse the Republican candidates and confuse matters going forward in New York state,” he said sarcastically.
A spokesman for the state Senate Democrats poked holes in Cuomo’s argument: “This is not based in reality, There are over 1 million votes to be counted and Democrats are on pace to add to their majority. This talk of a red wave or successful GOP messaging makes no sense. The Republicans lost.”
Whether those confident words end up being true remains to be seen. But as long as de Blasio serves as mayor of New York, he will be a ripe target for Republicans.