Just a few short months after he resigned following multiple accusations of sexual misconduct, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told Bloomberg that he wouldn’t rule out running for office once again. That’s a mild statement in and of itself, but diving into the full interview, it’s pretty clear that Cuomo doesn’t think his career is done.
He also told Bloomberg, the outlet writes, that he regrets that he resigned in the first place. “I never resigned because I said I did something wrong,” Cuomo said. “I said, I’m resigning because I don’t want to be a distraction.”
That doesn’t sound like a man who’s done with politics. He certainly has the money to mount another run for office. Bloomberg also reports that Cuomo has a $16.4 million campaign war chest, and that he’s spent more than $2 million of it since resigning in August. The only thing he has to overcome is the tricky public perception that he’s a corrupt sex pest. Little things, for someone with that much money and power.
Cuomo believes he’s been vindicated – or at least that’s the line he’s going with. “If you do an honest summary [of the scandal], which is what I get from people on the street, I have been vindicated.”
Cuomo is clearly referring to the decision by New York state prosecutors to not pursue criminal charges for any of his sex crime allegations. But not pursuing charges is very different from an exoneration, and prosecutors noted that they found Cuomo’s accusers to be “credible.”
It’s worth noting that Cuomo’s sexual harrassment case overshadowed several other alleged crimes he committed in office, like the massive coverup of nursing home deaths during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Cuomo’s strategy in overcoming all this — given to him by his brother, Chris Cuomo — was to blame cancel culture and insist that his accusers were telling politically motivated falsehoods. That’s good enough for the swamp creatures around him, clearly. The Wall Street Journal reports that Cuomo and his team have been working through their rolodex of political operatives to complain about New York Attorney General Letitia James, who led the state’s investigation into Cuomo’s conduct. James, who briefly ran for governor earlier this year before quickly exiting the race to retain her seat as attorney general, gave Bloomberg a blunt statement on Cuomo’s attacks.
“No one, including Andrew Cuomo, can dispute the fact that multiple investigations found allegations of sexual harassment against him to be credible,” she said. “Only he is to blame for inappropriately touching his own staff and then quitting so he didn’t have to face impeachment. His baseless attacks won’t change the reality — Andrew Cuomo is a serial sexual harasser.”
Cuomo spokesperson Rich Azzopardi sees things a little differently. “We remain laser focused on getting the truth out about the AG’s sham report, the facts that they ignored blackmail and witness tampering and suppressed evidence and testimony favorable to the Governor all to further Tish James’ political ambitions,” he said in a statement provided to Rolling Stone. “She doesn’t get to skate on that or avoid answering a single substantive question about her faux investigation.”
Nobody familiar with the vipers’ nest of New York politics expected Cuomo to fade into obscurity without a fight, but his quick return to mud-slinging seems to indicate he’s betting big on a triumphant comeback cycle. And who knows, if the former governor can resurrect his career, maybe all of the people he dragged down with him, like his brother and CNN execs Jeff Zucker and Alison Gollust, will get a second act, as well. Power protects its own, after all, and what Cuomo is saying in new public interviews is that he still wields plenty of it.