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Cuomo: 2016 speculation 'flattering,' potentially 'distracting'

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks during

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks during a State University of New York meeting at the Capitol in Albany. Cuomo, a week after being named among Time's 100 most influential people, says he won't fuel speculation that he might run for president in 2016. (April 25, 2012) (Credit: AP)

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said that speculation he could be a presidential candidate in 2016 “is flattering,” but said he’s not thinking about it, adding:  “I want to be the best governor I can be. That's where I am in my heart.”

The governor gave his most expansive answer to date on the guesswork already under way about 2016.

When asked if the political gossip was distracting and whether he could end it by stating his intentions, Cuomo began his lengthy answer with a figurative nod to the same questions that dogged his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, in 1992. The elder Cuomo declined to run after mulling the decision at length – sometimes publicly.

“I’ve seen this movie before,” Cuomo said at a Red Room news conference at the Capitol. “I’ve seen it in this room. So there’s a little bit of déjà vu going on. So, I know this play and I know how it turns out.

“In one regard the speculation is flattering,” he continued. “On the other hand, it can be distracting.

“The politics cannot only distract, but frustrate . . .  Once you start saying let’s start talking political, my own politics, my own aspirations, it can become not just distracting in that it takes time, but it can become confusing and frustrating.”

Legislators and others would weigh every issue by asking, “Now is this a political agenda or a governmental agenda?” the governor said.

“So it’s very important to me to honor my word to the people [of] this state and to preserve my relationship of this state and what I am doing is about making this state the best state I can make it and being the best governor I can be, regardless of politics. . . I’m not going to allow myself to be pushed politically . . . . I am not going to speculate on my own” future.

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