'Too early' to tell if Ocasio-Cortez will help New York: Governor Cuomo

By Ginger Gibson
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FILE PHOTO: U.S. Representative Ocasio-Cortez speaks during a news conference for a proposed "Green New Deal" at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks during a news conference for a proposed "Green New Deal" to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 7, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

By Ginger Gibson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrat New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a scion of his party's establishment wing, said on Friday it was "too early" to know if the young Democrat firebrand from his state, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, will help New York while in Congress.

"It's early yet to find out what she actually produces," Cuomo told reporters after a news conference in Washington in which he argued for Congress to reverse a provision in the new federal tax code that disproportionately hurts his constituents.

"You know, New York is very basic in our approach, we're sort of, 'What have you brought home for us lately?' I think it's a little early in the session yet for the evaluation."

Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated a long-time Democratic lawmaker to get elected to Congress in 2018, has pushed her party to embrace a more liberal platform and ruffled feathers with her quick rise. She's also become an obsession among conservatives, who jump to attack her every remark.

Cuomo and Ocasio-Cortez ended up on opposite sides of the debate about Amazon.com opening a new headquarters in New York. When the tech company decided last week to abandon plans for a new campus in Queens, Ocasio-Cortez cheered and Cuomo lamented the move.

But he wasn't ready to put the blame on Ocasio-Cortez.

"God issues fault," Cuomo said. "She was against it, a number of people were against it, but she did not have an official government role. There were people who had an official government role who were against it and I think they have more of the liability."

Cuomo dismissed the idea that Ocasio-Cortez could be pushing his party too far to the left, pointing to progressive initiatives that had found favor with voters such as New York's $15 minimum wage, paid family leave and marriage equality.

"We have a significant Republican population," Cuomo said. "I'm in my third term, so you can be a progressive and you can win with Democrats and Republicans. So it depends on how its done.”

(Reporting by Ginger Gibson; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)