De Blasio's Criticism of Cuomo Puts Politicians Around State in Awkward Bind
New York politicians are getting drawn into the fight between Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo, whether they want to or not. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
Mayor Bill de Blasio knew he was dropping a political bomb this week when he said Governor Andrew Cuomo lacks leadership and seeks revenge. The explosion is reverberating far beyond the mayor and governor, though, and putting politicians around the state in an awkward bind.
"I'm not going to get in the middle of that," said Sen. Charles Schumer. "We want everybody to get along for the good of the city, New York City, and for the good of the state."
But clearly, no one is going to be singing Kumbaya anytime soon. De Blasio administration sources defended the mayor's public blow-up, arguing that the governor only seems to respond to strong pushback.
The feud does not impress Rep. Nydia Velazquez.
"They need to put their high-level testosterone aside and get to the issues that are important to our state and our city," Velazquez said. "Come on. Grow up."
Other elected officials were not nearly as forceful. It was clear they did not want to get drawn into the fight.
"Government is a collaborative process, and in the best interest of New York City, collaboration is needed," said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has had his own trouble getting along with Cuomo, declined to take the bait. At a press conference to promote an affordable housing development in Sunset Park, he tried to present himself as a politician who collaborates with others.
"We are working together every day," Schneiderman said.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a close ally of the mayor's, said the ball is in Cuomo's court.
"He needs to send the mayor an olive branch and say, 'How do we make it right?'" Adams said.
Perhaps the duo will settle their war with a whitewater rafting race. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Cuomo competed in one at the Governor's Adirondack Challenge. Cuomo invited the mayor to this year's event. No word yet on whether de Blasio plans to pick up a paddle and go.