Gov. Andrew Cuomo didn’t offer much in the way of a critique of Republican foe Rob Astorino’s 10-point ethics platform today.
“Yeah, that’s funny. Good. I’m glad he did that, and he’s free to do it, put forth a proposal,” Cuomo said on “The Capitol Pressroom,” a public radio show.
If Republicans want to strip lawmakers of their $172 per diems when they are in Albany, as Astorino proposed, Cuomo responded, “If that’s the Republican proposal, then Dean Skelos should put that on the floor now.”
Cuomo also reacted to the candidacy of Zephyr Teachout, who officially announced her bid today to challenge Cuomo in a Democratic primary. He defended his “progressive” record.
“In this state, you have people on the extreme left who say things, and you people on the extreme right – and that’s what you call a political contest. So I don’t think that’s surprising at all,” he said of Teachout’s challenge.
Cuomo said his pledge to the Working Families Party to push progressive ideals is in line with his record.
“I did not promise to be more progressive. I am a progressive Democrat, and this state has been more progressive right across the board – from marriage equality, to the SAFE Act and gun control, to dramatically restructuring the tax code, to have one of the most progressive tax codes in the country,” he said.
He said he’ll back “senators who support progressive issues. It’s also wrong to say, ‘Well, every Democratic senator by definition supports the progressive agenda that I support.’ I can tell you there are a number of Democratic senators who don’t. It’s not that simple.”
He didn’t delve into what he’ll be doing to help Democrats try to win back the Senate in November, saying he doesn’t want to impede on the end of the legislative session, which ends Thursday.
“The partisanship gets people braced politically and it’s not a helpful conversation,” he concluded.
The state GOP knocked Cuomo for brushing off Astorino’s ethics package.
“Blowing off the interviewer’s question with a laugh demonstrates that Andrew Cuomo is incapable of giving New York the moral leadership that it needs and deserves,” state GOP chairman Ed Cox said in a statement.