Wednesday was a historic day for women in NY politics: Andrea Stewart-Cousins was installed as NY State’s first female majority leader in the state Senate, sworn in by the female state chief judge, Janet DiFiore. And for some reason Governor Andrew Cuomo thought this was the perfect occasion to test out some of his more racy “comedy” material on the press.
“Space, we need space,” Cuomo said to reporters during an impromptu gaggle right after the swearing in. “I’ll bring you up on charges under the ‘Me Too’ movement.”
Andrew Cuomo just had a semi-impromptu gaggle with reporters.
It started with an aide asking us to move back a few steps to give him room.
— Jon Campbell (@JonCampbellGAN) January 9, 2019
As he started a gaggle with reporters a little while ago, Gov. Cuomo joked that he wanted them to take a step back: “Space. We need space. Or I’ll bring you all up on charges under the Me Too movement.”
This was received awkwardly.
— Nick Reisman (@NickReisman) January 9, 2019
Reactions in the room and online afterwards ranged from dumbstruck to horrified at the callousness of the “joke:”
Stop him. Unlike the gop, we have a much better history of weeding out our bad ones. Look it up before you @ me!
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) January 9, 2019
We could’ve had Cynthia Nixon https://t.co/t2RZfV30pu
— Anna Merlan (@annamerlan) January 9, 2019
This is not leadership. This disgusting behavior keeps victims silent and allows perpetrators to thrive. For years we’ve been forced to just smile and take it, be a “team player”, and laugh at our own expense. Albany needs to hear #Metoo and that starts with @NYGovCuomo. https://t.co/pKjcy4p6ED
— Leah Hebert (@LeahMHebert) January 10, 2019
When asked about the comment Thursday morning during a radio interview, Cuomo blamed it on the press for crowding him in, and didn’t apologize: “I think it was an offhand comment,” he said. “I walked out into the highway and I was assaulted by the gaggle and pieces of equipment hitting me in all sorts of my anatomy.”
In a radio interview, Andrew Cuomo was just asked about his Me Too joke yesterday.
Here’s what he said: pic.twitter.com/TVV4OoX2TA
— Jon Campbell (@JonCampbellGAN) January 10, 2019
This isn’t Cuomo‘s first failed attempt at crude humor: during a debate last fall with Republican candidate Marc Molinaro, CBS moderator Marcia Cramer asked Cuomo to sing a few lines of “Empire State Of Mind.” He demurred, saying he only sings in the shower, then added, “Unless you come to the shower.” He’s also made similarly unsuccessful jokes about Jewish dancing and his brother’s “development issues.”
Damn, who wouldn’t think this guy would make a great presidential candidate!