NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke in-person for the first time Thursday following Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation announcement, saying he should never run for office again and there should be accountability in his actions.
De Blasio said during his Thursday press briefing he was “surprised” and felt a “sense of relief” when the governor had announced he was stepping down.
On the day of the announcement, de Blasio — who was on vacation — tweeted it was “past time” for the governor to resign and that “it’s for the good of all of New York.”
“I did not expect him to do what I regard as the decent thing and get out of the way,” de Blasio said during his presser, commending the 11 women who came forward.
“An extraordinarily powerful, bullying guy was brought down because they stood up,” the mayor added.
One week after New York Attorney General Letitia James released the results of an independent investigation that revealed Gov. Andrew Cuomo had sexually harassed at least 11 women, the governor on Tuesday announced his resignation.
Cuomo has another 12 days in office, which the mayor questioned why 12 days are needed. Within the next few days, however, de Blasio warned “people should keep a very close eye on him.”
The mayor also said he believes there needs to be accountability “in any form it takes” and whether or not the governor gets impeached, Cuomo should “never hold office again.”
Amid all the scandal surrounding Cuomo, de Blasio was asked whether or not he’d be able to separate the governor’s accomplishments and give him credit for the good he’s done.
“I can be objective enough to say, well, even someone I think did horrible things, also managed to do some good things in the mix, but let’s be clear. He did horrible things. In the end, history will judge them harshly because he amassed power in a way that led to bullying and intimidation and threats,” de Blasio said. “So much power led to his downfall.”
He also criticized their lack of conversation, saying what “we were experiencing in Albany is not normal.”
The idea should be that a governor picks up the phone to a county executive or mayor and says, ‘How do we work together?’ ‘What do you need?’ ‘How can I help?’ Or if a mayor has an idea or a local official has an idea, offers it to a governor, it’s like, let me look into that. Let’s see if we can work together on that. Never, that was never the reality. So, I just look forward to some normalcy,” he said
As Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul prepares to take Cuomo’s place, de Blasio said he has spoken with her and expects to have a positive approach with her moving forward as they bring the city and state back from the pandemic.