Governor Cuomo: “The state of New York has a proud legacy of being the progressive capital of the nation and I think that is more important today than ever before”
Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo discussed the 2016 presidential election at a media availability in Syracuse. Audio is available here. A rush transcript is available below:
Reporter: About Donald Trump. Are you walking back on comments you previously made? You said Trump could be good for New York, but you also said he was un-New York.
Governor Cuomo: You need to separate two different facts. Number one, I have grave philosophical differences with the positions that Donald Trump laid out in the campaign. That is not going to change, that is not going to go away. I also think that dialogue and that debate is a healthy one for this country. This state of New York has a proud legacy of being the progressive capital of the nation and I think that is more important today than ever before. If any immigrant feels that they are under attack, I want them to know that the state of New York – the state that has the Statue of Liberty in its harbor – is their refuge. In terms of individual rights, whether you are gay or straight, we respect all people in the state of New York. In terms of working poor, we are the state that raised the minimum wage to $15. So anyone who believes that their rights are infringed – their individual rights, or our sense of community has been diminished, nothing could be further from the truth. We believe in it, we passed laws that reflect it, and we will continue to do that. We won’t allow a federal government that attacks immigrants in our state. We are a state of immigrants. So we believe that very strongly and that’s going to continue.
Second, Donald Trump has been elected president, president-elect, we will also work with the federal government, which is very important for the people of this state. Our transportation money, our housing money, our health care money, that all comes from the federal government, and that is a very important resource for this state. So of course, we’ll work together. We have worked in a bipartisan capacity for six years. We have worked with a Republican Senate. I work with Democrats. I work with Republicans.... So we’ll work with the federal government, but there are very strong philosophical differences. They’re not going to go away, and I look forward to the dialogue, and as the Governor of New York, I intend to keep up the debate and the dialogue. Yes, I understand the outcome of the election. I also understand that there are principles that we won’t give up on. I don’t agree with an economic policy that says you cut taxes for the rich and will then trickle down to everybody else. That was Reaganomics. We did that. It didn’t work. I believe in the exact opposite. I believe in economic policies that take people who are at the bottom and raises them up. Make work pay. It’s a $15 minimum wage. I believe there are employers who now take advantage of employees in this economy. There are fewer unions, less collective bargaining, and I believe employees need someone to stand up and fight for them. That’s our paid family leave program.
That’s our paid family leave program, where employees would have rights that an employer can’t take from them. So we believe very strongly in these principles. We’re the state that passed marriage equality – the first big state. So these principles are not going to go away. I heard a diametrically opposed vision from Donald Trump and I look forward to continuing the debate.
Reporter Given that Trump won so many counties in upstate New York do you think Democrats need to do a better job of attracting rural voters upstate?
Governor Cuomo This election was different than anything I have seen. There were people who were angry, almost across the board. You saw that not just in the general election, but you saw that in the primary election. Hillary Clinton is running against Bernie Sanders. 40 percent of the people of the state of New York voted against Hillary Clinton. That was astonishing. Why? Because they’re angry and they’re making an anti-establishment call. Hillary Clinton was a Senator from New York. Bernie Sanders was a nice fellow from Vermont. But how do 40 percent vote against Hilary Clinton? So I think you saw from the beginning that people were fed up, anxious, economically upset, distrusting of their government and you put those things together – you put a population with real problems and a government that they don’t trust and the government is supposed to be the vehicle that helps them – that is a toxic combination, and that is where we were. So I think that’s what this election was about, more than anything else. To make generalizations about anything else – I don’t think you can do that.