‘Capable of Being President’: Joe Biden’s Praise of Andrew Cuomo Did Not Age Well

Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joesph R. Biden Jr. attends the 19th September 11 commemoration ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York, Sept. 11, 2020. Amr Alfiky/The New York Times Sent using Beam (30248925A/0E2A7163-1599829033640.jpg). Original. NYTCREDIT: Amr Alfiky/The New York Times
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) sexually harassed multiple current and former state government employees, state Attorney General Letitia James (D) announced Tuesday after a five-month-long investigation.

But before officials began investigating the governor, then-presidential candidate Joe Biden lavished Cuomo with praise, saying he would make a fine world leader.

“I think Governor Cuomo is capable of being president. I think he’s a great guy,” Biden said during a CNN interview on April 16, 2020:

Just a few days before, Biden also joined the clamoring establishment media in praising Cuomo for his handling of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic. Cuomo was subsequently accused of hiding thousands of nursing home deaths, though the Department of Justice (DOJ) under now-President Biden declined to investigate the claims.

“Your governor of New York has done one hell of a job. I think he’s sort of the gold standard,” Biden remarked on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on April 1, 2020:

The sexual harassment investigation found that the governor specifically “sexually harassed current and former New York State employees by engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching and making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women.”

The investigators, the attorney general continued, independently “corroborated and substantiated” the facts through interviews, evidence, including contemporaneous notes and communications, which will be made available to the public. The probe included interviews with 179 people and over 74,000 pieces of evidence.

“These interviews and pieces of evidence revealed a deeply disturbing yet clear picture: Governor Cuomo sexually harassed current and former state employees, federal and state laws,” James continued. “The independent investigation found that Governor Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, many of whom were young women.”

The harassment included “unwanted groping, kisses, hugging, and by making inappropriate comments.” The investigation also revealed that, on at least one occasion, Cuomo and his senior team actively worked to retaliate against a former employee after she stepped forward.

After Joe Biden became president, he said during a television interview with George Stephanopoulos in March 2021, that Cuomo should resign if sexual harassment allegations turn out to be true.

ABC News reported:

“I know you said you want the investigation to continue,” Stephanopoulos told Biden, referring to a probe by New York’s attorney general into allegations Cuomo had harassed several women. “If the investigation confirms the claims of the women, should he resign?”

“Yes,” the president replied. “I think he’ll probably end up being prosecuted, too.”

At a press conference on Tuesday after James’ announcement, Cuomo maintained his innocence.

“I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances. … That is just not who I am or who I have ever been,” Cuomo said.


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