NEW YORK – Gov. Andrew Cuomo was sworn in for his 3rd term as Governor Tuesday, using it as an opportunity to attack several of President Donald Trump’s policies and 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.”
“As our nation once confronted a great economic depression, we now confront a great social depression,” the governor said. “People’s frustration is turning to fear and the fear is turning to anger and the anger is turning to division. It is impossible to overstate how dangerous, how malignant this condition is. It is like a cancer that is spreading throughout our society, a disease that causes one cell in the body politic to attack other cells, to turn one against one another.”
The governor also said he doesn’t blame the leaders of the federal government for the fear that his gripped the nation, but he does blame them failing to properly address it.
“Like looters during a blackout, they didn’t cause the darkness, but they exploited it. People’s fear and frustration is caused by real problems in their lives and there are two options for government leaders to take. The hard, but true path is to confront and actually solve the problem. The easy, but false path is to use the anger to blame someone else, and the easiest target to blame is always the people who are different.”
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.”
“From voting reforms, to Roe v. Wade for New York, to protecting a woman’s right to choose,” said Cuomo. “To better gun laws, to healthcare protection, to legalizing marijuana, to protecting the labor movement, to a green new deal, to real criminal justice reform – 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 us how good we can be at our best when we are together.”
Cuomo also made it clear that he chose to deliver the nearly 30-minute speech from a famous landmark linked to immigration that remains open, along with the nearby Statue of Liberty, despite a partial federal government shutdown because of money supplied by the state.
And the governor highlighted the immigrant roots of many prominent Americans, including Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
With the battle over immigration policy raging nationwide, the speech’s location is likely to encourage speculation that Cuomo may run for president, though the 61-year-old has said he has ruled out the idea.