Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul on Sunday suggested that she will consider Gov. Andrew Cuomo irrelevant once he leaves office.
“The governor will do what he chooses to do. I’ll be laser-focused on dealing with COVID, getting our economy back, getting kids back in school, and dealing with a whole host of other challenges that I am prepared for,” Hochul said on CNN’s “State of the Union” to host Jake Tapper.
Hochul — who is scheduled to take office Aug. 25 after Cuomo steps aside over sexual-harassment allegations — said any potential commentary from Cuomo when he’s out of the governor’s mansion will be an irrelevant sideshow that she’ll ignore.
“I’m ready for this. I’m ready to lead, and what happens off to the side, I won’t have control over, but it will not distract me,” she said.
During a subsequent appearance on CBS, Hochul took a similar stance to Cuomo chiming in once he leaves office.
“We’re going to stay focused,” she said on “Face the Nation.”
“I will have no distractions in my administration, because we’re focused on doing what’s best for the people of the state.”
Hochul’s vow to ignore an out-of-office Cuomo comes after he gave an interview with New York Magazine, saying he doesn’t know where he’ll live but hinting he’ll continued to share his “voice” and “perspective” after his resignation takes effect.
“Uh, I don’t know what I’m gonna do,” Cuomo said in an interview published Friday. “I’m not disappearing. I have a voice, I have a perspective, and that’s not gonna change.”
Cuomo announced Tuesday that he will step down effective in two weeks, after a state Attorney General probe said he sexually harassed 11 women, including nine current or former staffers. That left Hochul positioned to take the helm of state government by the end of the month.
In turn, the governor-in-waiting has repeatedly distanced herself from the governor’s administration. Hochul, who is slated to be the first woman to serve as New York’s governor, has promised to quickly start a new era in Albany, and clean up the corruption and creepiness that’s afflicted it for decades.
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