When his progressivism was called into question, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) retorted, “I am the left! I am the left!”
Wait…what’s the context?
Cuomo, the son of former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo (D) and the older brother of CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, is the de facto head of the Democratic Party in New York.
When Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), a new but prominent political voice from the state, compared border detention facilities for migrants to concentration camps, Cuomo called it “wholly inappropriate.”
“To draw an equivalency suggests one does not understand what happened in the Holocaust,” he said.
What did Cuomo say?
When questioned by WAMC host Alan Chartock about his record, according to the New York Post, Cuomo responded:
I am, I believe I am the most progressive, or one of the most progressive leaders in the state. It depends on how you define progressive and that my friend should be the discussion in this Democratic presidential primary. What does that mean progressive?
Chartock had asked Cuomo about his decision to back the more establishment incumbent candidate to lead Queens, one of New York City’s five boroughs, rather than endorsing a democratic socialist candidate favored by other members of his own party. That election was so close that a recount has to be carried out before a victor can be declared.
When the conversation turned to his past criticism of other members of his own party like Ocasio-Cortez, Cuomo declared defensively: “No, I am the left. I am the left!”
This isn’t the first time that Cuomo has made bold statements about his status.
In 2011, Cuomo told Albany’s Talk 1300 “I am the government.” He clarified “on the executive side” only after being reminded about the state’s legislature.
In April 2018, he said, “[Y]ou want to deport an undocumented person, start with me, because I’m an undocumented person.” He was referring to “wop,” a derogatory term for Italian-Americans that many people, including Cuomo, believe came from the phrase “without papers.” The actual etymology of the word is unclear.