Did disgraced former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo show up in a Buffalo, N.Y. church Sunday to talk about gun control for a little time in the media spotlight, and if so, for what purpose?
His remarks about the inability of fellow Democrats to pass gun control legislation aimed at banning so-called “assault weapons” seemed suspiciously like campaign rhetoric. But the New York Post noted in its coverage of his appearance at the True Bethel Baptist Church “On Sunday, Cuomo gave no indication on if he will launch a potential comeback.”
But the Buffalo News reported Cuomo came out swinging, asserting, “We took on guns in this state. We said this is a priority. The majority of people in this state support it. The majority of people in this country support it.
“It’s reckless, irresponsible and dangerous for politicians to say ‘I know the majority of people want it, but I’m not going to get it done’,” Cuomo added.
It’s the sort of rhetoric one generally connects with a political campaign. Cuomo is not going to get involved in the gubernatorial race, newspapers said, but could he be testing the waters for a run at higher office in 2024? There is some speculation Joe Biden may not seek a second term, leaving the race for a successor wide open. How would Kamala Harris fare against Cuomo? Biden is not doing well in recent polls. Rasmussen’s Daily Presidential Tracking Poll has the president in double-digit negative territory. Monday’s poll found Biden with 42 percent job performance approval and 57 percent disapproval. Dig a bit deeper and only 19 percent “strongly approve” of Biden’s job performance while 47 percent “strongly disapprove.”
The New York Post said Cuomo spent 11 minutes in the pulpit talking about the Tops supermarket mass shooting, claiming he was “sickened by what happened here in Buffalo.”
The former governor, who resigned from office last August amid a scandal, declared, “No more excuses from our elected officials. I know it’s hard to ban assault weapons. We did it in New York. We passed the law. The toughest gun-safety law in the nation. We got it done, and now it’s time for the federal government to get it done. State laws aren’t enough.”
But the ban and Cuomo’s SAFE Act (Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013) did not prevent the Buffalo shooting. The alleged killer bought his rifle legally, but apparently modified it illegally and also had ammunition magazines not permitted by state law.
Rather than admit his gun control law failed, the Buffalo News reported Cuomo said “he is convinced the controversial SAFE Act that he championed saved lives.” The Buffalo body count suggests otherwise.
Is Cuomo trying to spark a political comeback? The New York Post noted he had appeared in public twice in March, including one stop in the Bronx “where he indicated he is open to making a political comeback, declaring…that he was ‘open to all options.’”
With such appearances as Buffalo, Cuomo may be attempting to remain relevant.