ALBANY — Actress Cynthia Nixon on Monday blasted Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo as “Andrew the Bully,” a “wannabe Republican” and a member of the “old boys club” ruling New York politics.
The former “Sex and the City” star, holding her first capital city news conference since declaring her bid for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, said Cuomo has failed to clean up corruption as promised. She accused him of worsening the inequities in school funding.
And she said Cuomo should get an Oscar for playing a Democrat while tacitly supporting Republican control of the state Senate, which keeps progressive proposals blocked.
“It’s all scripted. He deserves an Oscar for his performance,” Nixon said, referring to state budget negotiations going on just blocks away. “In New York City, he puts on an entire Broadway show to parade around as a progressive Democrat leading the resistance. But in Albany, he is deftly handing power over to the party of Donald Trump.”
Cuomo’s campaign didn’t immediately comment. Previously, he has belittled her level of star status and has sought to counter her on education by noting that New York spends more per pupil than any other state does. He also has been increasingly critical of Trump on a host of issues.
Nixon pilloried Cuomo’s leadership style and contended that New Yorkers are “sick of being bullied.”
“We’ve all seen it. Andrew the Bully,” she said. “He bullies other elected officials. He bullies anyone who criticizes him . . . It reminds me of the behavior we see from Donald Trump everyday.”
Nixon said the only way to deal with a bully is to stand up and “send a message loud and clear that you will not be bullied.”
Nixon was in Albany to meet with liberal education advocates just as elected officials try to finalize the state budget. She said she backed a proposal by the Democratic-led Assembly to boost education funding by $1.5 billion, compared with Cuomo’s proposed $769 million. (Newsday reported Sunday that lawmakers were close to a deal to raise aid by $1 billion.) She backed the property-tax cap, but she said the state needed to move away from property taxes as the main funding mechanism for schools. Nixon also said she backed the Assembly’s idea of raising taxes on those making $5 million or more annually, something Cuomo opposes.
She bashed Cuomo on corruption, noting the governor’s former top aide, Joseph Percoco, was recently convicted in a bribery scheme. But she declined to criticize New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a friend of hers, whose name has been dragged into a Nassau County corruption trial.