Cuomo gave a rousing political speech to the New York State Democratic Committee Tuesday morning but quickly called a halt to the politicking when asked whether his enthusiasm for Democratic candidates extended to those in the state Senate.
“We’ll discuss political decisions in the political season but we are now in the government season and we’re trying to get government bills passed,” Cuomo told reporters moments after his speech to a gathering of the New York State Democratic Committee in Albany. “So let’s keep the conversation about government and when we get to the political season we’ll have a political conversation.”
The governor has had a tenuous relationship with Senate Democrats since he took office. The relationship hit a new low earlier this spring when Cuomo rejected Senate Democratic pleas to veto the redistricting maps crafted by the Senate’s GOP majority.
Cuomo’s reluctance to discuss politics with reporters was in stark contrast to his speech to the Democratic Party faithful, where he seemed to be in full campaign mode and boasted “we are going to elect Democrats in every office all across the state.”
“We could not be in a better place,” Cuomo said. “Because, think about what’s going to happen now. We’re coming out of an intense governmental season and we’re going into the political season. We’re going into the campaign season.”
While Cuomo heaped praise on several Democratic leaders, including Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan), he did not mention any Senate Democratic leaders in his remarks.
Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens), head of the Senate Democrats’ campaign organization, said he was confident the governor would be helpful to all Democrats this fall.
“As the leader of the Democratic Party, Governor Cuomo's effectiveness has done much to enhance the standing of Democrats throughout the state,” Gianaris said in a statement. “That is why recent polls indicate New Yorkers want a Democratic majority in the Senate by a staggering margin of almost 20%. We are confident that the Governor will continue to be an asset as we move into the political season this fall."
Meanwhile, Cuomo, who is widely considered a frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, offered some of his strongest praise to date of President Obama, crediting the incumbent with saving the nation’s economy.
“We are going to remind the people of this state and this nation that when President Barack Obama took the oath of office this nation was on the precipice, it was on the cusp of a financial abyss,” Cuomo said, adding that it was Obama’s “firm hand” that steadied the nation.
“We are going to give him the best mandate in the United States for America,” Cuomo said.