Even though he's a Democrat, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has found some bi-partisan appeal among republicans. Our Nick Reisman has more on the vibe toward Cuomo at the RNC.
TAMPA, Fla. -- There's a lot of Republican red meat tossed around at the Tampa convention. No one, from President Obama to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, is spared.
“We have a U.S. senator now, Senator Gillibrand, who, one day she's Annie Oakley and the next she's Jane Fonda,” New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said.
Popular Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, on the other hand, well, he could win a popularity contest among New York Republicans. Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said he would welcome the governor backing any of the Senate GOP candidates this year.
“Of course I would. If he thinks it's appropriate, he's a very popular governor, he's earned that popularity and it wouldn't bother me in the least,” Skelos said.
Cuomo and the Senate GOP have worked together on cutting the state's budget and championed fiscal reforms such as creating a new, cheaper pension tier. Meanwhile, he signed off on a redistricting plan drawn by Senate Republicans.
“I think we had, over the first two years of Cuomo's administration, a pretty good relationship given what you've seen in Washington and other places. I obviously would prefer a governor who was more in favor of the private sector, not as dominated by some of the Democratic special interests, but I think when I compare him to some of the other governors in Connecticut and Maryland who are falling off the charts left wing, I think this has been a pretty good balance,” said former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Republicans in Tampa say that to keep Cuomo on their side when it comes to budget, it's important to keep the GOP in power in the Senate.
New York State Republican Chairman Ed Cox said, “When he was running for governor, he picked up on the fact that we had huge wins in Westchester and Nassau County because there's a tax revolt going on and so he adjusted his Democratic message that we can't raise taxes, that we have to cut spending and that's a Republican message and it makes it a lot easier for him to then work with our majority in the Senate.”
Senate Republicans have been sure to mention their relationship with Cuomo during the campaign season and the governor himself has not endorsed a Democratic takeover the Senate.