Cuomo, unfazed by Christie poll, says ‘I am not’ running for president - The Buffalo News
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Cuomo, unfazed by Christie poll, says ‘I am not’ running for president

It was mostly good economic news that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo dispensed during his visit to Western New York on Thursday, but he touched on a little bit of good, old-fashioned politics, too.

Highlights included:

• The governor acknowledged he had seen a Siena Research Institute poll earlier in the week showing his job-performance rating not only at an all-time low, but also revealing that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie – who just won re-election and is mentioned as a possible Republican presidential nominee in 2016 – has a 63 percent favorable rating in New York, compared with 61 percent for Cuomo.

It didn’t seem to faze the New York governor in the slightest.

“It said Chris Christie has better numbers for president than I do,” Cuomo said. “Yeah, because he’s running for president, and I am not.

“Hillary Clinton is ‘apparently’ running for president of the United States, and I should also say Chris Christie is ‘apparently’ running for president of the United States,” he added. “I – very apparently – am not.”

• Cuomo referred to the book he is writing about his life and political experiences announced last spring – a move often associated with potential presidential aspirants. But the governor said a significant part of his autobiography will be devoted to Buffalo.

He said that while he previously encountered a “cynicism” and “pessimism” in Buffalo, he will point out in the book how the community is now marked by a far more positive attitude.

“It was one after another; they said we can’t, we can’t,” he said, before referring to projects like the one announced this week. “We did, we did. There has been one success after another.”

• The governor did not directly answer a question about whether he supports Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy J. Zellner, who has a limited relationship with the governor’s political operation and whose party lost control of the County Legislature.

“I do to the extent that I support county chairmen,” he said. “I tend to stay out of the business. The politics of Erie County has always been fascinating.”

The governor proved much more effusive, however, on what he called good and productive relationships with Mayor Byron W. Brown and County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz.

“You are seeing probably the greatest unified front, politically, that you’ve seen,” Cuomo said. “I have the county executive and the mayor who are working well together; I’m working well together with both of them.

“I don’t think … you can find a time when the governor, the mayor and the county executive have been working together better than these three.”


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