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Cuomo: Biden has 'credibility' and best case to beat Trump

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Dec. 13. Photo Credit: AP/Rick Bowmer

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday singled out former Vice President Joe Biden as having the best case to beat Republican President Donald Trump in 2020, and Cuomo said only a Democrat with accomplishments like Biden's has a good shot at winning the White House.

Cuomo, in a WAMC public radio interview, repeatedly refused to comment on the exploratory campaign for president announced this week by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

“My two cents? I think of all the names that are out there, I think Joe Biden has the best case because he brings the most of the secret ingredient you need to win for a Democrat, which is credibility,” he said.

Cuomo said Trump was elected because voters don’t believe any politicians and were asking: “What have you done to help me in my life? . . . Where is the credibility in your argument? . . . Joe Biden can say, ‘I was there.’”

Cuomo didn’t mention the age concern about Warren, who is 69 years old; and Biden, who is 76.

Biden has said he expects to make a decision early this year on whether to run for president. 

Warren's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cuomo, 61, then rattled off his own accomplishments in New York that he says earned him credibility with voters: Raising the minimum wage to as much as $15 an hour, providing free public college tuition to many middle class families, rebuilding airports in New York City and upstate, and environmental protections.

These measures “make a difference in people's lives and [create] the credibility to say government can actually work for you,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo wouldn’t rule out — or in — becoming Biden’s running mate. He has previously said he doesn't plan to run for president.

“I am not even focusing on any of that,” Cuomo said. “What I’m doing is what I believe I need to do for this state.”

Biden has been a strong ally for Cuomo in helping secure federal funding for massive renovation of LaGuardia and Kennedy airports.

A Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom poll of Iowa voters this month found Biden was the top choice of likely Democratic caucus attendees in that state’s early primary. The poll found 82 percent saw Biden as the most favorable candidate; 74 percent preferred Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont; and 64 percent preferred Warren. Cuomo wasn’t on the list of 21 potential candidates.

In the radio interview, Cuomo again targeted Trump.

“We were doing very well in this state . . . not perfect, but we were doing well,” Cuomo said. “Then enters the Trump federal government . . . we are under attack.”

He specifically criticized Trump’s tax cut package, which will raise the federal income tax for many high-salaried New Yorkers who have high property taxes, such as those on Long Island.

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