Labeling Andrew Cuomo isn’t easy.
Yesterday, he added a new description.
“I’m sort of the Antichrist to the Conservative Party,” Cuomo, a Catholic, said in an interview. The fact that Cuomo said this to The New York Times may explain why the chairman of the New York State Conservative Party, Michael Long, hadn’t heard of it until I called him just now.
“Say that one more time to me,” Long said, when I told him about Cuomo’s remark.
Long took a deep breath, and said, “I don’t think a comment like that needs a response.”
This was a new wrinkle in their relationship, which, at one point, was better than one could imagine. Although Cuomo pushed to legalize same-sex marriage — which Long opposed — the two agree on the governor’s more recent initiatives: non-partisan redistricting and pension reform.
When Cuomo was traveling the state discussing consolidation of local governments, Long’s party hosted Cuomo at an event in Albany.
“We agreed with him on that issue, as we agree with him on a bunch of issues,” Long recalled. He continued: “Honestly, that comment — I thought he was a little more broadminded. Do we strongly disagree with him on certain issues? Absolutely. But do we agree with him on many other issues? Absolutely.”
“If that’s how he sees himself,” Long continued, “that’s how he sees himself. I’m sorry he thinks of himself in that light…I’m really taken back by it.”
Just the other day, Long was cheering Cuomo for blocking legislation that would have allowed school districts to borrow money and circumvent the newly enacted tax cap.
“We applaud him for vetoing it,” said Long. “And I don’t consider myself the Anthichrist of Andrew Cuomo.”