ALBANY — Not my fault!
Gov. Andrew Cuomo blamed Mayor Bill de Blasio for the state Democratic Party’s down-ballot woes on Thursday, arguing that Hizzoner’s job performance provided Republicans with ammo in key Long Island and upstate races.
“The Democrats: there’ll be havoc like in New York City,” said Cuomo, mimicking a GOP mailer during a soft-ball interview with radio host Alan Chartock on upstate radio station WAMC.
“They ran de Blasio’s picture all over the state!” added the third-term governor. “They’ll turn New York State into New York City, looting and crime and homelessness, law and order!”
Cuomo’s remarks echo his own repeated attacks on de Blasio earlier this fall, where he too dubbed the Big Apple “dirty” riddled with a “homeless problem” and “rising crime.”
GOP state Senate candidates on Long Island and in the Hudson Valley frequently featured de Blasio — as well as Cuomo — in mailers during the closing weeks of the campaign.
Several Republican candidates have leads from the ballots tallied on Election Day, but hundreds of thousands more votes cast by mail have yet to be counted.
That didn’t stop Cuomo from whacking de Blasio for the Democrats messaging woes.
“I believe the Republicans beat the Democrats on the messaging. I think they branded Democrats as anti-law and order and that hurt Democrats…the Republicans did that successfully,” he told Chartock at another point.
“They branded Democrats as anti-law and order and that hurt Democrats and that hurt Democrats. It was untrue. The Democrats — we are against the injustice in the criminal justice system we are against the racism and discrimination in policy.”
However, much of the ammunition that Republicans used against Democrats came from proposals that Cuomo included and passed through his budgets — including the state’s controversial reform that nixed bail requirements for misdemeanors and most non-violent felony charges.
De Blasio shot back with a joke during his own daily press conference, which was held at the same time as Cuomo’s interview.
“I think what I’ll do going forward is just make sure I strongly endorse the Republican candidates and confuse matters going forward in New York State,” he said sarcastically.
“That’ll be my plan for the years ahead.”
A spokesman for the state Senate Democrats poked holes in Cuomo’s argument as well: This is not based in reality, There are over one million votes to be counted and Democrats are on pace to add to their majority. This talk of a red wave or successful GOP messaging makes no sense. The Republicans lost,” he argued.
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