Governor Andrew Cuomo was given a cameo role praising the federal government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic in a new TV ad released Monday by President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.
“What the federal government did was a phenomenal accomplishment,” Cuomo says in the minute-long ad, which uses footage of his daily briefings and frames the second half of the pandemic response as a comeback story.
The ad is the latest sign the Trump campaign and the president himself will turn back to video of Cuomo and other Democratic governors who have been complimentary of the coronavirus response.
Cuomo’s full view of Trump’s handling of the pandemic has been more mixed than the ad suggests. He’s urged the federal government to help expand hospital and testing capacity as well as ship the state thousands of ventilators — which sometimes led to testy exchanges with the president.
Cuomo has also said he believes former Vice President Joe Biden, the party’s presumptive nominee, has the best chance of unseating Trump.
Still, the pandemic has flipped the current politics on its head in an election year. Only two years ago when Cuomo was running for a third term did the governor highlight himself as best positioned to counteract Trump’s policies and their effect on New York.
More recently, Cuomo has focused on the need for direct federal aid for New York as the state’s finances have been hammered by the pandemic.
Last week, in a radio interview with WAMC, Cuomo said Trump’s re-election will be focused on the president’s personal style and how that resonates with voters as well as how he handled the pandemic.
"I think it’s going to be a referendum on Trump, if anything,” Cuomo said. “He has a very clear style. And I think it’s going to be a referendum on how he handled the coronavirus."