On Tuesday, President Joe Biden praised New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s record in office after the New York governor announced he would be resigning in the wake of sexual harassment claims.
Biden made his comments after a speech commending the infrastructure bill’s passage through the Senate.
Biden was asked by CBS News reporter Ed O’Keefe about Cuomo’s record.
The president replied, “In terms of personal behavior or what he’s done as a governor?”
When O’Keefe said he meant Cuomo’s job as governor, Biden said, “Well, he’s done a hell of a job.”
“Thought he’s done a hell of a job … both on everything from the access to voting to infrastructure, a whole range of things,” Biden continued.
“That’s why it’s so sad,” Biden added.
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins then asked Biden how he could separate Cuomo’s governor record with the multiple allegations of sexual harassment.
Biden got defensive.
“Correct me if I’m wrong,” Biden said, insisting that he was answering O’Keefe’s question about Cuomo’s gubernatorial record “generally.”
The president then seem perturbed that Cuomo headlines was the press’s focus during his speech about the infrastructure bill.
“I’m not going to comment any more on Andrew Cuomo,” he said.
Biden has a deep affection for Cuomo’s leadership, in particular during the coronavirus crisis — despite the scandal of ordering nursing homes to accept coronavirus patients and then obscuring the death count.
Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa – who resigned a day before he did – admitted to New York lawmakers that they obscured the real death toll, for fear of federal prosecution.
In July, Biden’s Justice Department announced they would drop a civil rights investigation into the nursing home deaths.
“We have reviewed the information provided by these states along with additional information available to the Department,” Deputy Assistant Attorney General Joe Gaeta wrote Friday.
“Based on that review, we have decided not to open a CRIPA investigation of any public nursing facility within New York, Pennsylvania, or Michigan at this time.”
In April 2020, Biden said during his presidential campaign while in New York, “Your governor in New York’s done one hell of a job. I think he’s sort of the gold standard.”
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