Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo was ousted from office last August by multiple scandals, but welcomed back by one crowd Thursday like he never should have left.

“Ladies and gentlemen, former Governor Andrew Cuomo!” Rubén Díaz Sr. introduced him to applause.

What You Need To Know

  • Cuomo blamed his downfall on "cancel culture," speaking at a pulpit for second time in two weeks

  • The ousted governor also criticized the "defund the police" movement and called for a bail reform fix, though without details

  • Cuomo didn't close the door on another run for governor, including on a third-party line
  • Critics say Cuomo is playing the victim to distract from scandals that have hurt people

Andrew Cuomo had a receptive audience among Latino church leaders in the South Bronx, invited to the church of Díaz, a former City Council member.

Cuomo resigned last August amid a multitude of scandals from accusations of sexual harassment to the alleged undercounting of nursing home COVID deaths.

While churches can be places for redemption, Cuomo appeared interested only in redeeming his reputation, saying he was the wronged one.

“It’s a social death penalty. Anyone can get canceled at any time. And it happens with frequency. No one’s immune,” he said.

“Our cancel-culture mentality today is like modern-day stonings. Remember the stonings in the Bible?” he said.

Díaz was sanctioned by the City Council for anti-LGBTQ remarks.

Also present was former Council Member Andy King, expelled for sexual harassment.

Cuomo was egged on by the crowd to return to public office, including as a presidential contender.

And he didn’t shut the door on running again for his old seat, whether it’s against Gov. Kathy Hochul in the Democratic primary or on a third-party line in the fall.

“I don’t think I’m going to get an offer from the New York Jets, so I’ll probably rule that out. But I’m open to all options,” he told reporters.

“The election isn’t until November, so there’s a lot of time to gather petitions depending on how you want to run,” he added.

Assembly Member Ron Kim slammed what he said was a victim tour to distract from a recent damning audit on nursing home deaths.

“Andrew Cuomo himself tried to cancel old people, he tried to cancel survivors and he’s around a person who’s tried to cancel gay people,” Kim told NY1. “And there’s a theme here. But he is a master manipulator.”

Former Republican Gov. George Pataki referenced another Democrat on the outs for scandal in rating Cuomo’s chances.

Pataki told NY1’ “Mornings on 1,” “If he decides to run, he’ll be about as successful as Anthony Weiner was in his return to elective politics.”

This was Cuomo’s second speech from a church pulpit in two weeks, and he’s run two ads defending his record.

Before those ads, Cuomo had $16 million in his campaign coffers. 

Hochul had $20 million as of her last filing. 

And before Cuomo arrived at this church, her campaign announced she was endorsed for a full term by more than 400 faith leaders.