No One's Sure Why Andrew Cuomo Just Put Out This Ad

Promo, which suggests sexual harassment case was politically motivated, spurs speculation
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2022 9:15 AM CST

Andrew Cuomo wasn't forced to resign from the New York governor's office because of a credible sexual harassment case but rather "political attacks," according to a new ad campaign. Per the New York Times, Cuomo's campaign is spending $369,000 to air a 30-second TV ad "designed not to support or attack a political candidate or even to apologize to New Yorkers, but to brazenly recast himself as the victim of politically motivated 'attacks.'" The ad, which immediately sparked speculation about whether Cuomo was plotting a political comeback or simply trying to repair his reputation, meshes clips of news reports to suggest the state attorney general's report, which found he sexually harassed 11 women, was deceptive.

There's emphasis on the county prosecutors who declined to press criminal charges against Cuomo, who left office in August on the threat of impeachment hearings, but no mention that several of them found the allegations that Cuomo harassed and groped women to be "credible." "Political attacks won. And New Yorkers lost a proven leader," reads the final text in the ad, which began airing statewide on Monday. A rep for State Attorney General Letitia James—whose office is still investigating claims that Cuomo used government resources to fulfill a $5.1 million book deal—says it's "shameful" that "a serial sexual harasser and a threat to women in the workplace ... continues to attack [accusers'] accounts rather than take responsibility for his own actions," per the Times.

Nine women's rights organizations say much the same in a joint statement, while one of Cuomo's alleged victims, Charlotte Bennett, says he's only trying to "convince others of his Big Lie." Cuomo's rep, however, says it's James who should take responsibly for the "craven politics and prosecutorial misconduct that permeated this process," per the Times. "The AG knowingly and willfully ignored evidence of perjury, witness tampering, and extortion, and hid exculpatory evidence when she misled the public in her sham report last August," spokesman Rich Azzopardi adds, per the New York Post. Though Cuomo recently told Bloomberg that he regretted his decision to resign, a Siena College poll released last week shows 80% of registered New York voters think he made the right decision and 58% believe his accusers. (One, a state trooper, argues Cuomo violated her civil rights.)

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