New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's resignation could give Republicans an opportunity to retake the Albany mansion in the 2022 race, as New Yorkers will "swing back to the other side" after the past years of scandal under Cuomo, former Gov. George Pataki said on Newsmax Wednesday.
"They have seen Andrew Cuomo fail as governor, and it's not just with these scandals," the New York Republican said on Newsmax's "National Report." "It's also the thousands of people needlessly killed in nursing homes during the COVID crisis. They've seen Bill de Blasio fail horribly as mayor of New York City, and yes, that gives Republicans an opportunity to win next year."
However, if a Republican candidate expects to win, that person must have an agenda that "appeals to a million-and-a-half Democrats" to get them to flip their party vote, said Pataki.
"They understand that the crime is through the roof in New York and the policies have changed," said Pataki of Democrats. "Taxes are too high in New York. The policies need to change and the taxes have to be cut. The school system is falling apart and that needs to be changed. The mentally ill homeless have to be dealt with. There are so many issues show that resonate across party lines that yes, I think Republicans will have a chance next year."
Cuomo had no other choice about resigning because otherwise, he would have been impeached after Attorney General Letitia James' report came out that found all 11 of the governor's accusers were credible, said Pataki.
"(His resignation) wasn't an act of graciousness on behalf of the people in the state of New York," said the former governor. "This is Andrew Cuomo, avoiding being impeached."
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will take over for Cuomo in two weeks, and finish out the governor's term in 2022. Political opponents are already lining up against her, including Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., who said in a Twitter post that she "empowered" Cuomo's "disgusting behavior."
Pataki said Hochul has an opportunity to succeed and he wants to see her call on the legislature to bring the change that Cuomo didn't, including criminal justice reform, tax cuts, and education reform.
"Give her a chance to do that," said Pataki. "If she does, New York will be a better place. If she doesn't, then we'll see what happens because I think it will give Republicans an opportunity."
Hochul had also claimed to be a moderate Democrat while in Congress, so Pataki said it will remain to be seen if she keeps that stance or is pulled to the left by state congressional Democrats.
He also said the left seems to be rooting for Cuomo to make a comeback, and that is "despicable" when you look at all the governor's scandals.
"They're willing to forgive Andrew Cuomo and he still hasn't left office," said Pataki. "It's not just the 11 women who were found credible. It's the nursing homes, the 15,000 people killed unnecessarily. It's the Buffalo billions, where some of his key aides are still in jail. It's the misuse of ... state resources to get his family like (CNN anchor) Chris Cuomo formal special benefits during the height of the covid crisis, it's writing a $5 million book during the COVID crisis."
Instead, Pataki said, Cuomo is a politician who "covered up and engaged in scandal after scandal, a toxic work environment and yet those lefts in the media are rooting for a comeback. I'm not. He should be finished."
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