NY Gov. Cuomo Rebukes Democrats for Being Too Focused on Attacking Trump

March 26, 2019 Updated: March 26, 2019

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a recent interview that fellow Democrats are too focused on attacking President Donald Trump and not spending enough time explaining the party’s policies.

Speaking with WAMC public radio on March 25, Cuomo said, “The Democrats have been too focused on ‘We’re going to win by just being anti-Trump.”

He continued, “You don’t win a game, you don’t win an election just on playing on one side of the court. … You have to play offensive defense, we win when we offer the alternative vision and that’s what the Democrats have to be focusing on and not this Twitter-deep policy and analysis.”

However, when the radio host Alan Chartock asked Cuomo whether Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-N.Y.) anti-Trump comments at her rally on March 24 was a good move, Cuomo defended Gillibrand. During the event, the senator called Trump a “coward,” in front of a crowd at Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City, reported the New York Post.

In response to Chartock’s question, Cuomo said, “It’s what we’re talking about. You need media coverage. You need to come up with something that excites social media. So that’s what it’s become.”

Chartock then asks, “So we’ll take that as a criticism, right?”

Cuomo quickly denied it, defending Gillibrand by saying, “No. look, I believe parts of there you can say that the president has been cowardly on many things.”

No suspicious package sent to NY Gov. Cuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at an event on Roosevelt Island, New York, on Sept. 13, 2017. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Also during the interview, Cuomo appeared to criticize Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) for frequently attacking Trump on her Twitter. The congresswoman regularly shares anti-Trump comments to her 3.6 million followers on the platform.

“Where did it happen that we shifted from a really basically substantive conversation to this celebrity, media, social media, Twitter dialogue that is a mile wide and half an inch deep?” Cuomo said.

“Where celebrity and the number of Twitter followers determines whether you were suited for elected office. And if you have more Twitter followers, then you’re a more viable candidate. Experience doesn’t matter, accomplishments don’t matter. It’s a degradation of the system. It’s a degradation of government.”

In response, Ocasio-Cortez’s spokesman Corbin Trent told the Post that they do not believe Cuomo was referring to the congresswoman.

“He must be talking about somebody else. She’s not a mile wide and an inch deep she’s very in-depth when it comes to policy. I couldn’t imagine he’d be talking about her,” Trent said.

Special Counsel Report

Cuomo also made comments about special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, saying, “Its a moment where the Democrats have to focus.”

“‘Well, they didn’t say no obstruction,’ yeah, but they’re not charging him with anything. And that is going to have a certain resonance,” Cuomo said. “And that’s why just being anti-Trump is not going to be enough to win the election and I hope the Democrats get that. And not coming up with anti-Trump slogans or anti-Trump policies.”

The governor called for the report to be released as much as possible, saying “I think it’s in everyone’s best interest, frankly.”

The four-page summary (pdf) of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report was sent to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate judiciary committees. In the letter, Attorney General William Barr said Mueller’s investigation “did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”

It also concluded that the special counsel didn’t provide enough evidence to substantiate that the president obstructed justice.

Follow Janita on Twitter: @janitakan
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