Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., took New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg to task on Sunday regarding his recent comments about Bill de Blasio running a “racist” mayoral campaign and went on to heap praise on the Democratic front-runner after staying out the New York City primary for weeks.
Cuomo’s remarks came in response to a question wondering if he had anything to say about Bloomberg’s statement in the current issue of New York Magazine that de Blasio, who has touted his biracial family in the campaign, is running a “racist” effort.
“I don’t know what was actually said or what the context was, but the comments that were reported clearly are out of line and have no place in our political discourse,” said Cuomo, according to Politico.
“There are a lot of important issues that we should be talking about and addressing, especially in the city of New York.
We have education issues. We have the stop and frisk issue, so there are plenty of substantive issues to be discussing without raising unnecessary and inflammatory topics.”
Cuomo and de Blasio are no strangers to one another: de Blasio worked for the governor when Cuomo was HUD Secretary under Bill Clinton.
Cuomo cited their relationship in his remarks.
“I remember when his kids were born, that’s how long we go back,” said Cuomo. “They are a beautiful family.
"Individually, each of the members of his family are truly special people and I think he should be very proud of his family, and if I were Bill I would be campaigning with my family the way that I campaign with my family.
"So that’s the way I feel about the de Blasios.”
Cuomo also held up the bi-racial nature of de Blasio’s family as an example of the state’s diversity.
"Also you have to remember that New York State – New York City is part of New York State – we make a statement to the country that we are the capital of diversity and we celebrate diversity and we celebrate differences and we’re not intimidated by racial and ethnic differences,” Cuomo said.
“We believe they are a strength for this city and this state and this nation.
So any words contrary to that really goes against the essence of what New York is all about, that we can all come together and forge one.”
Cuomo did soften somewhat in his criticism of Bloomberg’s remarks which, aides have said, were edited to make them sound harsher than intended.
“I also know well enough that sometimes what you say isn’t exactly what winds up in print or what you meant isn’t exactly what winds up in print, and I can tell you that from first-hand experience,” Cuomo said
“That’s the nice thing of electronics – there’s a tape.”
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