He endorsed Hillary Clinton for president “wholeheartedly” just hours after she announced her candidacy, but Governor Andrew Cuomo said the prospect of Vice President Joe Biden entering the race would be “good.”
“If he did run, I think all Democrats would be in a bind, because they’d have a choice of a number of good candidates,” Cuomo told reporters after an event at New York University touting new assault policies. “But that’s a good situation to be in, right?”
The governor’s relationship with Biden dates to the 1990s, when Cuomo was working at the Department of Housing and Urban Development under Bill Clinton and Biden was a senator from Delaware. Biden flew to New York City earlier this year to offer his condolences after the death of Mario Cuomo. The governor made a trip to Dover to console Biden after his son, Beau, died in June.
Cuomo has a long-standing relationship with the Clintons. Bill Clinton appointed him as assistant secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and then promoted him to the top job at the agency, and the governor has described the former president as a foundational political mentor. Hillary Clinton endorsed Cuomo’s re-election bid last year, and appeared at a rally with him in late October.
The vice president recently spent a day with the governor, announcing a research center in Rochester and listening, impressed, as Cuomo described his plans to redevelop LaGuardia Airport. (Biden famously likened the experience of landing at LaGuardia to arriving in a third-world country.)
Biden called Cuomo “just about the best governor in the whole United States of America.”
The governor’s comments on Wednesday came as New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced her endorsement of Clinton. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio still has not endorsed the presumed Democratic frontrunner. Cuomo did not mention her when a reporter asked for his thoughts on Biden’s entry into the race.
“The decision to run is his decision,” Cuomo said. “He is the sitting vice president of the United States. He is well regarded, he is respected, he’s run for president before, so I think it’s obvious that he would be considering it. Usually, [if] the governor doesn’t run, the lieutenant governor thinks of running; the president doesn’t run, the vice president thinks of running. So I think there’s a certain natural logic to him considering it, but then he has to decide.”
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