After multiple women reported that they had been sexually harassed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, many Democrats have openly called for his resignation, while other prominent Democratic leaders remained publicly silent on the allegations.
Cuomo has been accused of sexual harassment by eight different women, with allegations ranging from inappropriate comments and uncomfortable touching, to reaching under a woman’s blouse and “aggressively” groping.
Alyssa Mcgrath, a current aide, alleged that Cuomo would inquire about her lack of a wedding ring, and stated when they sat together alone in his office he would gaze down her blouse and comment about a necklace hanging there.
The following is a list of statements from notable Democrats who have remained publicly hushed on these allegations — but were openly vocal in condemning Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh — who also faced allegations, albeit more serious ones relating to rape. The list continues with those who have called for Cuomo’s resignation, and other prominent Democrats who have only demanded an investigation.
Kamala Harris: The vice president has not been publicly outspoken on the allegations against Cuomo, but on March 16 she said at a United Nations event that democracy “depends fundamentally on the empowerment of women,” according to the New York Post. (RELATED: FLASHBACK: Kamala Harris Called Kavanaugh Accuser ‘A True Profile In Courage)
As a senator, however, Harris garnered over 1 million signatures in a petition calling for the impeachment of Kavanaugh, according to CNN. (RELATED: Kamala Harris, Who Called For Kavanaugh Impeachment, Silent On #MeToo Allegations Against Cuomo)
Brett Kavanaugh was put on the Court through a sham process and his place on the Court is an insult to the pursuit of truth and justice. He must be impeached. Sign our petition if you agree.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 15, 2019
Former President Barack Obama has not yet spoken out publicly about the eight sexual misconduct allegations against the New York governor.
Obama made a joke about Kavanaugh saying he was “saddened” that Kavanaugh did not blame him at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, according to The New Yorker.
“As he rattled off all of the people who had victimized him, I was sure I was going to make the list. It was more than a little deflating that I didn’t,” Obama stated. He went on to state that it was “not a good feeling to feel forgotten like that, it was a tough thing to watch.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has not yet been publicly outspoken on the Cuomo allegations; however, she supported the movement to impeach Justice Kavanaugh.
“Last year the Kavanaugh nomination was rammed through the Senate without a thorough examination of the allegations against him. Confirmation is not exoneration, and these newest revelations are disturbing. Like the man who appointed him, Kavanaugh should be impeached,” Sen. Warren said in a 2019 tweet.
Rep. Ilhan Omar has not yet been publicly outspoken on the allegations against Cuomo. However, the Minnesota representative did refer to Kavanaugh as a “sexual predator” who should not be able to make decisions on women’s healthcare, according to a 2020 tweet.
Two accused sexual predators should not be deciding whether or not women have access to healthcare in this country. https://t.co/okJE85pwoN
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) March 4, 2020
Omar supported Kananaugh’s impeachment. She said, “We must open impeachment inquiries against Trump *and* Kavanaugh immediately. It’s our constitutional duty,” in a 2019 tweet.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib has not yet been publicly outspoken regarding the Cuomo allegations. Conversely, the Michigan representative was a strong opponent of Kavanaugh and said hearing his name was a “trigger” to her.
“I think, you know, even the mention of Brett Kavanaugh for me is a trigger. Just as a woman in America, the fact that he, you know, rightfully was accused, and having an incredibly strong woman come before the public and the world and tell her story of sexual assault by this person that was appointed to the Supreme Court is just — I couldn’t stand still and not do anything about it, and I needed to walk away from that,” Tlaib said in a 2020 interview.
Stacey Abrams has not yet been publicly outspoken about the Cuomo allegations, nor did she immediately come out openly in support of his accusers. However, in 2018, Abrams mentioned how she was proud of Christine Blasey Ford’s “response and demeanor and more importantly her courage” when testifying against Kavanaugh, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution report.
“I believe women, and I believe survivors of violence always deserve to be supported and to have their voices heard,” Abrams said in a 2018 tweet.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley has not yet been publicly outspoken about Cuomo’s recent allegations. However, the Massachusetts representative was “disturbed” by the fact Kavanaugh serves on the Supreme Court despite facing multiple allegations.
“It’s deeply disturbing that someone that serves on the highest court in the land could have this many allegations,” Pressley said in a 2019 interview, according to The Hill.
Pressley also advocated for Kavanaugh accusers, saying, “I believe Christine Blasey Ford. I believe Deborah Ramirez. It is our responsibility to collectively affirm the dignity and humanity of survivors,” according to USA Today.
Beto O’Rourke has not been yet been publically outspoken about the allegations against the New York governor. The former Texas representative did, however, call for the impeachment of Kavanaugh in a 2019 tweet.
He said, “Yesterday, we learned of another accusation against Brett Kavanaugh—one we didn’t find out about before he was confirmed because the Senate forced the F.B.I. to rush its investigation to save his nomination. We know he lied under oath. He should be impeached.”
Kamala Harris, Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Stacey Abrams, Ayanna Pressley, and Beto O’Rourke could not immediately be reached for comment.
Democrats who support an investigation, but did not immediately or explicitly express support for Cuomo’s resignation:
President Joe Biden said that Cuomo should resign if the sexual harassment allegations prove true, in an interview with ABC News. He then added that he believed if the probe finds the affirmative Cuomo would be prosecuted, too.
Biden said, “A woman should be presumed telling the truth and should not be scapegoated and become victimized by her coming forward.” Biden added that coming forward takes courage, but did not explicitly say Cuomo should resign at this point in the investigation. (RELATED: ‘Hypocrisy’ And ‘Lies’: Tara Reade Slams Biden For Praising Courage Of #METOO Accusers)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not clearly expressed whether Cuomo should resign. However, when directly asked if Cuomo should step down, Pelosi stated in an MSNBC interview, “We have zero tolerance for the behavior that is alleged against the governor, and again, I think he is a supporter of zero tolerance in terms of sexual harassment. So it would follow that if you have zero tolerance, that would be a decision that we hope the governor would make.”
Speaker Pelosi also said in an ABC interview that Cuomo should “look inside his heart” and determine whether he can “govern effectively,” according to The Hill. (RELATED: Pelosi Praised Kavanaugh Accuser Christine Ford’s ‘Courage,’ But Ignores Biden Accuser Tara Reade)
Hillary Clinton said she was pleased an independent and thorough investigation was probing into allegations against Cuomo.
“These stories are difficult to read, and the allegations brought forth raise serious questions that the women who have come forward and all New Yorkers deserve answers to,” she said, according to The Hill.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an Independent who often votes with the Democrats, stated that the allegations against Cuomo justify more investigation, according to an Axios report. (RELATED: Bernie Sanders Asked About Biden Sexual Assault Accusation)
Sen. Joe Manchin: The West Virginia senator said that an investigation into the allegations against Cuomo should move forward, according to a CNN interview.
When asked if Cuomo should resign and if he believed the women coming forward, Manchin said to CNN, “These allegations are serious but I believe you need to let this investigation go forward.”
Manchin continued, “Let’s see and wait until that investigation is completed before we have a rush to judgment … The rule of law is our bedrock of who we are as a country, and I want to make sure that everyone has their opportunity and fair chance.”
Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker: The New Jersey senators were not immediately prepared to call for Cuomo’s resignation.
Menendez stated, “I take the allegations of the women very seriously. I also believe there is a need for an investigation. That’s exactly what I understand the attorney general of New York is conducting,” reported the New Jersey Globe. “I also don’t prejudge the outcome, so I’ll wait to see the results of the investigation of the attorney general.”
Similar to Menendez, Booker also called for an investigation, stating that, “Women should be heard, and I think that this investigation should go forward.” Booker also said that he was not following this situation “that closely,” according to the New Jersey Globe. (RELATED: Booker Facing Criticism For Kavanaugh Reaction After Admitting To Groping Friend In High School)
Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii stated that an independent investigation into allegations against Cuomo was in order.
“The proper response for any of these kind allegations of reprehensible, inexcusable behavior is to listen to the — mainly women who come forward … and then to do the appropriate investigation and corroboration of the allegations,” Hirono stated in an ABC interview. (RELATED: Mazie Hirono Attacks Kavanaugh, Dodges Questions About Ellison)
Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan gave her stamp of approval for the investigation into Cuomo. She said, “The most important thing is that women be heard and taken seriously,” reported Politico. When asked if Cuomo should resign, Stabenow said, “At this point, I think people in New York need to decide that.”
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island said that Cuomo is “New York’s problem,” and that he was, “satisfied with New York taking care of the situation,” according to The Washington Post.
Democrats calling for Cuomo’s resignation:
Bill de Blasio called for Cuomo’s resignation stating, “The specific allegation that the governor called an employee of his, someone who he had power over, called her to a private place and then sexually assaulted her is absolutely unacceptable,” de Blasio told reporters.
“He can no longer serve as governor. It’s as simple as that,” the New York City mayor concluded.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand from New York said that Cuomo must resign in a joint statement:
“Due to the multiple, credible sexual harassment and misconduct allegations, it is clear that Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of his governing partners and the people of New York,” according to AP news.
Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman said Cuomo should resign in a joint statement.
“Unfortunately, the Governor is not only facing the accusation that he engaged in a pattern of sexual harassment and assault. There is also the extensive report from the Attorney General that found the Cuomo administration hid data on COVID-19 nursing home deaths from both the public and the state legislature.”
The New York representatives added, “[W]e believe these women, we believe the reporting, we believe the Attorney General, and we believe the fifty-five members of the New York State legislature, including the State Senate Majority Leader, who have concluded that Governor Cuomo can no longer effectively lead in the face of so many challenges,” according to a tweet from Ocasio-Cortez.
Rep. Jerry Nadler stated that all the accusations that have come out against Cuomo have made it impossible for him to continue governing, according to an Our Town report.
“Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of the people of New York. Governor Cuomo must resign,” the representative from New York said.
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney expressed concern for the women who came forward and said Cuomo should resign, according to AP News.
“The victims of sexual assault concern me more than politics or other narrow considerations, and I believe Governor Cuomo must step aside,” the representative from New York stated.
Rep. Kathleen Rice of New York made her view clear with a single tweet that said, “The time has come. The governor must resign.”
Rep. Mondaire Jones said in a statement posted to Twitter that Cuomo was unfit to continue governing based upon his mismanagement of COVID-19, as well as the mounting sexual harassment allegations.
“The deeply disturbing allegations of at least six women, including several former employees, offered detailed descriptions of sexual misconduct that raise additional concerns about the Governor’s fitness to hold any position of public trust,” the New York representative’s statement said.
“For the good of our state and everyone who calls it home, I urge Governor Cuomo to resign.”
Rep. Grace Meng of New York said on Twitter that “The Governor should resign for the good of our state.”
Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York called on Cuomo to resign in a statement released on Twitter, which thanked the #MeToo movement for allowing women to step forward and tell their stories.
“I join with … my colleagues, and others who have called on Governor Cuomo to resign in the best interest of all New Yorkers,” she said.
“[N]ow is the time to finally ensure that this generation’s courage stops harassment once and for all.”
Rep. Nydia Velazquez released a statement to Twitter which acknowledged the bravery it took for the women to come forward against the governor. “New Yorkers deserve better from the most powerful elected leader in the state,” she said.
She further stated, “As public servants, we must earn the trust and respect of those we represent. There is only one way the Governor can truly restore accountability and confidence to his office: he must resign.”
Rep. Adriano Espaillat stated in a tweet that “It is time for Governor Cuomo to resign.”
Rep. Antonio Delgado released a statement to Twitter that said, “Being the Governor of the State of New York is a privilege … with the growing allegations of threats, bullying, and sexual harassment, reflects a culture of aggression that is unfit to lead. The Governor must resign.”
Rep. Brian Higgins provided the following statement:
“It is clearly time for the governor to resign. This is a challenging time for New York. There is too much important work to be done. We need to move forward.”
Rep. Paul Tonko issued the following statement:
“While I have previously called for an independent investigation, now underway, into serious and credible claims against Governor Cuomo, it has become clear the Governor has lost the public trust needed to effectively lead this state. I see no choice but to call for him to resign.”
Rep. Richie Torres issued a statement to his Twitter stating that if the sexual allegations against Cuomo were found to be true, then “elected officials who commit sexual assault should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
He further stated that even though the governor has a right to an investigation, “he must consider doing what is best not for himself but for the State of New York in a moment of crisis. Resignation is in the best interest of New York State.”
Rep. Joe Morelle released an official statement calling for Cuomo’s resignation, according to Spectrum News.
“For the good of all New Yorkers, the Governor should step down so that we can focus on the important issues facing our communities.”
Rep. Yvette Clarke released this statement:
“In light of all of the recent allegations mounting against Governor Andrew Cuomo, I have revisited my previous stance in favor of a more expedited call to action … I must join my colleagues in calling for Governor Andrew Cuomo to step down.”
New York Reps. Tom Suozzi, Gregory Meeks and Hakeem Jeffries didn’t explicitly call for Cuomo’s resignation but rather left it up to the governor to determine if he could manage his elected role while also dealing with multiple probes.
Rep. Suozzi said if Cuomo couldn’t properly govern New York while being swamped with probes and controversy then “[Cuomo] must put the interests of all New Yorkers first and … resign,” according to a statement.
Rep. Meeks said that if Cuomo could not govern without “distractions” during the COVID-19 crisis “he should resign.”
Similarly, Rep. Jeffries said Cuomo must determine “whether he can continue to effectively lead the state.”
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