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Cuomo blasts GOP's national platform

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Governor Cuomo, addressing New York’s delegation in Charlotte, harshly denounced Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s budget and other GOP policies.

The rhetoric stands in sharp contrast to his cordial relationship with legislative Republicans in the  state Capitol.

Cuomo delivered a spirited repudiation of Ryan’s fiscally conservative budget policies, blending sarcasm with outrage to enthusiastic New York Democrats.  

“First they say ‘well, we have economic trouble’,” said Cuomo. “Thank you for that startling revelation. I wouldn’t have known.”

Cuomo says President Obama “inherited one of the worst economics in history ” , and  that it’s “absurd” that the party that created the country’s economic problems “now want to present themselves as the solver of the problem”.

But back in New York, Cuomo has had a friendly  working relationship with the GOP, and often jokes with the Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos , once saying in jest that  Skelos could head the state’s Democratic Party.

Cuomo and the Senate Republicans have worked together on a range of issues, from approving gay marriage to enacting a property tax cap. On fiscal matters, Cuomo has agreed with the GOP more than with Assembly Democrats, who have unsuccessfully pressed for items like an increase in the state’s minimum wage.

State GOP Chair Ed Cox has thoroughly condemned the Democratic Assembly Speaker for authorizing a secret pay out to alleged sexual harassment victims. But in a recent interview, Cox would not criticize Cuomo, saying he “governs on fiscal issues like a Republican.”

Senate Republicans, when asked about Cuomo’s remarks condemning national GOP policies, issued a written response, saying, in part, they expect their “positive working relationship” with the Governor to continue.   

Cuomo in his speech in Charlotte, while not mentioning New York Republicans specifically, acknowledged their contributions and offered an alternative version of politics that he says is taking place in the state. He says, for example he and the legislature cut Medicaid spending but increased health care coverage, and agreed on a “fair” taxation plan where those that earn more, pay more.

Cuomo also praised President Obama, and calls the upcoming election a “gut check” moment, saying Americans need to choose what he calls the “politics of inclusion”.

“The sweetest success is shared success,” he thundered.  

The speech was Cuomo’s only event at the Democratic National Convention. Unlike his father, former Governor Mario Cuomo, who gave a stirring convention speech in 1984, Cuomo did not address the entire gathering.

Cuomo, who did not take questions after the event, has said previously that he’s too busy working as governor in New York to have much time for national politics.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. WBFO listeners are accustomed to hearing DeWitt’s insightful coverage throughout the day, including expanded reports on Morning Edition.