Cuomo says dad’s presidential speculation was “A father talking about his son” (updated with video)

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his father’s remarks at the executive mansion last month about him possibly running for president was simply “a father talking about his son,” and an acknowledgement of the “good work” his administration has done over the past 18 months.

Of course, this isn’t just any dad: It’s Mario Cuomo, the three-term governor who himself flirted with running for president in 1988 and 1992. And Mario’s comments, quoted through anonymous sources, was put on the front page of the New York Times on Monday.

“What he said was different than I’ve heard it reported,” the current governor said when asked about the exchange by reporters in the Red Room today. “What he said was – now it’s a father talking about his son, right, so there’s a certain amount … I’m a father of three daughters — There’s a certain amount of pride that you bring, and you may not always be fully objective when you’re talking about your child.”

He said Mario, who turned 80 last month, said during a birthday party at the mansion that his son’s accomplishments has fueled speculation of a presidential run in 2016.

“He was talking about his belief, and his perception that I had done a good job in 18 months and that we had a good record of accomplishment,” Cuomo explained. “And that there was speculation that I should run for president as evidencing that I’ve done a good job, that the 18 months of performance has been so good that people are even talking about maybe I should run for president.”

But Cuomo quickly added that his father, who left an airplane on the tarmac in 1992 that was ready to leave for New Hampshire, said, “He then added, parenthetically, not that he could understand why anybody would want the job.”

Cuomo, whose approval rating is at about 70 percent in New York, is considered a top Democratic candidate for president in 2016. Cuomo has downplayed the speculation and has avoided the national spotlight to tamp down the talk. He said a few months ago that he understands how presidential speculation can ramp up — suggesting how it impacted his father’s deliberations over whether to seek the presidency.

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