Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his State of the State agenda that suggested a shift to a more progressive, liberal agenda is misguided, saying he has always pursued a fiscally responsible yet socially moderate platform.
“I think I’ve been going straight all along,” Cuomo told reporters. “And I think we’ve been remarkable consistent here. I said when I ran that we were going to run on a platform of being fiscally responsible and socially progressive, and that’s what we’ve done every year.”
In his address, Cuomo focused largely on his social agenda — gun-control laws and women’s rights, a move that drew critiques that he’s eying a left-of-center agenda to please his liberal base and build support for a potential presidential run in 2016.
Cuomo said he saw no shift in his policies, saying he has also pushed for women’s rights, including on abortion and equal pay. He said when he ran for office in 2010, he vowed to return New York to the progressive capital of the nation.
“I am socially progressive and fiscally responsible. That’s what I am,” Cuomo said. “That’s what I ran on. That’s the program we’ve put forth every year, and I believe that’s where most people in this state are.”
Cuomo said he would push Republican lawmakers to support his gun-control reforms, which would strengthen New York’s assault-weapons ban and require more regulations on gun purchases.
“I expect the Legislature to pass common sense gun control, and I expect them to pass it this session if they want to be able to go home and say to the people of their district they were fairly represented,” Cuomo said.
He added, “To be blind to this issue and the number of tragedies and the amount of bloodshed, I think would be dereliction of your public service responsibility.”