Governor Cuomo knows Newt Gingrich and has respect for his intellect, but he doesn’t want to see Mr. Gingrich in the White House. In an epic 42 minute long interview on Fred Dicker’s radio show today, Governor Cuomo weighed in on a variety of topics including the current Republican presidential primary frontrunner. “He’s a smart man–I think his politics are exactly wrong for this nation,” the governor said..
Governor Cuomo said his “first and foremost” encounters with Mr. Gingrich occurred during his time in the Clinton administration.
“I was there for that whole ’94 upheaval and he is, no doubt, a very bright man with large ideas and he was very effective, at that time, politically in changing the Congress, so I don’t think anyone should underestimate his political effectiveness,” Governor Cuomo said. “I’ve also appeared with him and he’s facile and he’s glib.”
Despite giving his opinion on Mr. Gingrich, Governor Cuomo told Mr. Dicker he’s above paying attention to the day-to-day developments in the race for the Republican nomination.
“I’m really not watching all that carefully, the Republican primary, Fred, it’s not that relevant to me. I am going to be eager for the conversation when the Republicans have a nominee versus President Obama and I hope it’s a productive conversation that is good for the nation,” Governor Cuomo said. “I hope it’s a conversation that can start to break the gridlock that’s now in Washington. I hope we dont have to wait to get through the presidential election for this government to start functioning again.”
Governor Cuomo pointed to the current climate in Albany where he recently managed to secure bipartisan support for his new tax plan as the antithesis of the contentious culture in Washington.
“I was so proud and I think the State Legislature is so proud. Look, they were facing–New York State Legislature was facing the same issues they’re facing in Washington, albeit on a different scale and it could have been very easy for the Senate, and the Assembly, and Democrats and Republicans to start to point fingers,” Governor Cuomo said. “I think that’s why they feel good and I think they should, they really should. … The energy among the legislators and the collegiality is something that I haven’t seen, period, from the New York State Legislature.”
Governor Cuomo’s positioning of himself as an executive who managed to transcend bipartisan Beltway bickering is interesting given widely touted status as a potential Democratic candidate in 2016. For now, his role as New York’s chief executive gives him a prime perch in Washington criticizing official dysfunction while remaining above the fray.