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N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo: Presidential speculation ‘can be hurtful’

Chris Moody, Yahoo News
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo doesn't like to talk about running for president.

In an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow published in Gotham Magazine on Monday, he explained why.

"Presidential speculation comes with the job in some ways, but it is not helpful, and it can be hurtful," said Cuomo, who rarely discusses his future plans. "You start suggesting I want to run for president, Rachel, and then they think, well, maybe he is more interested in his career and his political ambition than the state."

From the full interview:

Maddow: People are talking about you as a potential presidential contender because you are popular in this state with both voters generally and specifically with Republicans. ... Do you feel like your national profile helps you get stuff done in New York? Or do you resent the presidential speculation?

Cuomo: Resent is a strong word. Presidential speculation comes with the job in some ways, but it is not helpful, and it can be hurtful. Number one, my relationship with the people of this state is what is most important to me. It is also my main asset. I think one of the reasons I have a good relationship with the people of the state is they know I work for them, they know my only agenda is for them, about them, to make the state a better state. You start suggesting I want to run for president, Rachel, and then they think, well, maybe he is more interested in his career and his political ambition than the state. Or maybe this is a complicated equation for him. Complicated is bad in relationships. I like to keep it simple. I want to be the best governor I can be. I’m all about making this the best state, period. So that is why I go to great lengths to avoid the conversation.

For the past three months, Cuomo has been focused on rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy devastated parts of New York in October. He visited Washington, D.C., in December to lobby for federal aid, and the House of Representatives is currently debating a bill to spend billions on regions affected by the storm.

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