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Cuomo follows in father's footsteps with DNC speech

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Kathy Willens
/
Associated Press

Governor Cuomo got his moment on the convention stage Thursday night before Hillary Clinton’s speech.

Cuomo delivered his speech before the primetime program began, around 7:30 p.m., starting the speech by mentioning his father and Mario Cuomo’s famous 1984 "Tale of Two Cities" speech at the San Francisco convention 32 years ago.

Cuomo said the issues his father named - as a counterpoint  to then-President Ronald Reagan’s philosophy of government - resonate again today, but he said this time “the very soul of America” is at stake. He also accused the Republicans of capitalizing on fear, of immigrants and of people who are different from them.

“Fear is not strength, fear is weakness,” Cuomo said. “And no matter how loud you yell, our America is never weak.”

Cuomo then went on to list his accomplishments, including raising the minimum wage in New York, enacting paid family leave and marriage equality and  banning hydrofracking.

Finally, he turned to his party’s Presidential nominee,  Hillary Clinton. Cuomo said he spent eight years in her husband then-President Bill Clinton’s administration and worked with her as Senator. He said Hillary Clinton is a “unifying” force.

“My friends, she won’t just shatter the glass ceiling for my daughters and your daughters and provide a new role model for an entire generation of women. She also has the vision, intelligence and qualifications to be a transformative force for this nation,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo ended his speech with a plea to his late father.

“And tonight, Pop, wherever you are - and I think I know where - at this time of fear, help this country remember what truly makes it great,” Cuomo closed.

The speech capped three days of events at the Democratic National Convention for Cuomo, who also spoke to labor and gay rights groups.

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.
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