New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is many things, but a “political animal” ain’t one of them — or at least not according to President Donald Trump.
Speaking late Tuesday evening with on Fox News’ “Hannity,” the president praised governors such as Cuomo for their eager cooperation with his administration.
The remarks were issued in response to host Sean Hannity asking the president why he’s been “willing to give [Cuomo] a little bit more of a pass,” despite the governor’s failures amid the panic.
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(Source: Fox News)
“Well, I’m a diplomat too,” the president replied. “You know, since I’ve become president, I have to view things a little bit differently. Look, Andrew, I’ve known him a long time. He has a hard time getting the words out, ‘Thank you, you did a great job.'”
“But he’s been, you know, pretty good over the last week or so. It’s turning out I’m right because they wanted 40,000 ventilators, 40,000, and they’re not going to need anywhere near that and we said that.”
When the outbreak first erupted, the governor initially traded barbs with the president. But as the situation has grown more dire and the federal government’s assistance has grown more vital, he has changed his tone.
Trump continued by praising New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy as well but then pivoting to those unnamed governors who’ve been failing at their duties.
“[W]e’re doing this for New Jersey and for New York,” he said of his administration’s coronavirus relief efforts. “Governor Murphy of New Jersey has been very generous. He’s been terrific and he’s doing a great job. Look, they’re all doing a good job, most of the governors.”
“I can tell you a few that aren’t doing a good job. There are a few that are doing a poor job, and we’ll back the people where you have a bad governor. And you have some governors that are not doing a good job. But, you see, this is where age and experience come in. Rather than naming them tonight on your show, I won’t bother.”
While he didn’t name names, he was likely thinking of governors such as Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who’s faced criticism for trying to ban the use of the potential coronavirus miracle cure hydroxychloroquine and for playing politics amid the crisis.
“Gov. Gretchen Whitmer must send an unequivocal message to her constituents that Michigan is her priority in this hour of crisis,” The Detroit News’ editorial board wrote in a scathing op-ed last week.
“Her running feud with President Donald Trump calls into question whether she’s acting in the best interests of this state, or on behalf of the Democratic Party.”
This feud has involved her falsely claiming last month that the Trump administration wasn’t providing the help she’d demanded. It was later learned that she hadn’t even issued a request for a major disaster declaration yet.
Shortly after The Detroit News ran a story in late March revealing that “Michigan has not yet requested a major disaster declaration for the coronavirus,” Whitmer finally filed the request. The president promptly responded by approving it.
BREAKING: President Trump approves @GovWhitmer’s request for a major disaster declaration due to COVID-19.
— Mark Cavitt (@MarkCavitt) March 28, 2020
The president continued his remarks Tuesday by offering more praise for Cuomo, as well as California Gov. Gavin Newsom and even New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“California, by the way, is also doing a very good job, Governor Newsom, Gavin,” he said. “So, you know, we’ve had a lot of — we’ve had a lot of coordination. I have gotten along very well with Andrew. We’re sending them I think far more than they ever thought. I didn’t know Mayor de Blasio. I got to know him a little bit. We’ve got a very good relationship. He’s working very hard. He is. He is trying very hard.”
“It’s a tough thing, New York City hospitals. And we’ve sent him a lot of troops and what he wanted more than anything, he wanted the ventilators, we got them, but he wanted some — he needed troops. He needed medical troops and we got him a lot, doctors, nurses, and — you know, it’s very tough to get obviously.”
He then turned his attention back to the bad governors.
“I think we’ve gotten along very well with Andrew, and most of the governors — I mean, a couple I could tell you where it wouldn’t matter what you did, you could give them ten times more than they asked, if the — if the newspapers called and wanted a quote, they give you a bad quote because that’s the way they are,” he noted.
“You know, they’re political animals and it’s — you know, this is beyond politics what we’ve been going through here. But the federal government, the Army Corps of Engineers and the — and FEMA, they — what they’ve done, I don’t think there’s anybody in the world could have done.”
Among the most fervent of these “political animals” has been Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who’s been relentless with his criticism.
He even went so far this past weekend to attack Surgeon General Jerome Adams for rightly describing the coronavirus crisis as modern America’s “Pearl Harbor moment.”
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