NEW YORK (AP) — Sounding like the presidential candidate he insists he is not, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo unleashed an energetic attack against President Donald Trump’s policies on Tuesday, pledging New York will lead the nation forward with the most progressive agenda in state history.
The Democrat began 2019 and his third term with the inaugural address on Ellis Island, saying “America’s only threat is from within.”
Cuomo said that within the first 100 days of his new term, he will propose “the most progressive agenda this state has ever seen, period.”
“We will make history, and New York will move forward, not by building a wall, my friends, but by building new bridges, and building new airports and creating new middle-class jobs and an economic future for the next generation and showing how good we can be at all of this when we are together,” he said, apparently referencing the political fight over a wall on the Mexican border.
Cuomo said the country was facing a great “social depression”.
“People’s frustration’s turning to fear and the fear’s turning to anger and the anger’s turning to division. It is impossible to overstate how dangerous, how malignant this condition is,” he said. “The threat is when we see ourselves as black or white, foreign or native born, instead of as Americans. As Christians or Jews or Muslims, gay or straight, instead of as Americans. That, my friends, is truly frightening.”
He faulted the federal government, saying politicians had exploited the fear and frustration that many Americans feel to deepen divisions “for their own political purpose.” He said some of the nation’s leaders had demonised diversity to “make our differences our greatest weakness instead of our greatest strength.”