Andrew Cuomo and David Paterson crossed paths at a conference of state Democrats in Buffalo this afternoon–the first time they’ve been seen together in public since that uncomfortable day in Troy two weeks ago. This time, it was Mr. Cuomo whom the governor was forced to awkwardly embrace, instead of the president.
The exchange was brief, according to reports–hardly enough time for the attorney general to convey his thoughts on balancing the budget, which he had outlined earlier in the day. Standing in front of a big, but vague, “Andrew Cuomo 2010” banner this morning, and speaking metaphorically in the first person, the A.G. had suggested things that a governor such as Paterson might do–and not do–to solve the projected $3 billion gap in the state’s budget.
“We’re not going to be able to balance the budget the old fashioned ways,” Mr. Cuomo said, according to the Post. “It would be a terrible mistake to raise taxes at this time. If we raise taxes people will vote with their feet. One point is the tipping point and they will say I’m going to leave this state no matter how beautiful it is.”
The attorney general’s office doesn’t have much role in the budget process, but Mr. Cuomo insisted later–while suppressing a smile–that the speech wasn’t any more gubernatorial than anything he’s been saying the past three years.
Paterson wasn’t in the room for the non-gubernatorial speech, and when the two men crossed paths for a hug, Cuomo was only heard to say “Go get ’em.”