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Cuomo ducks question of running for president -- this time with a smile

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks before

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks before Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano is sworn into office. (Jan. 2, 2014) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo -- who has spent much of three years refusing to engage in talk that he might run for president in 2016 -- may have just joked his way back into the mix.

“I’m losing you,” he said with a smile to Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo, who asked whether Cuomo is considering a run for president. Cuomo laughed with Baritromo, who has hosted Cuomo’s annual economic development grant announcements, playfully holding his TV earpiece as if he didn’t hear her question.

“I am running for governor of the state of New York,” Cuomo eventually said.

In November Cuomo, who had often flatly refused to discuss a presidential run with reporters, discounted the then-stronger poll numbers of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

“Yeah,” Cuomo told The Buffalo News then, “because he’s running for president, and I am not.”

A poll released just hours before the Fox Business Network interview Tuesday showed Cuomo dropping in favorability and in job performance in New York.

The Siena College poll reported Cuomo’s favorability rating fell to 60 percent, from 66 percent a month ago. His job performance rating fell to 48 percent, from 54 percent in January, according to the poll.

The poll also showed his potential Republican opponents this year -- Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and developer Donald Trump -- dropping in popularity as well.

But the poll found that Cuomo would easily defeat either Republican if the election were held now.

The poll questioned 802 registered voters from Feb. 16-20 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Cuomo said in the interview that he’s not actively politicking, but focusing on governing until the legislative session ends in June.

“I want to stay away from any politics until June,” said Cuomo, who has amassed a $33 million campaign fund with major events in Manhattan and Los Angeles.

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