In a laughable April Fools’ Day interview, a CNN host asked Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam if embattled fellow Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York should “follow his playbook” by refusing to resign as scores of sexual harassment allegations pile up against him.
“Two years ago, you were being inundated with calls for your resignation after decades-old photos in blackface were discovered,” “New Day” host John Avlon said Thursday. “You apologized. You refused to resign, and you’ve gone on to pass some very significant legislation as governor with high approval ratings.
“I’m wondering what political lessons you have learned from that experience and whether you think they should apply, in your opinion, to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo?”
Cuomo has been accused of sexual harassment or assault by at least eight women so far as bipartisan calls for his resignation grow louder.
The governor has defiantly insisted that he has no intention of resigning, despite being embroiled in a separate, massive scandal involving his alleged coverup of thousands of coronavirus nursing home deaths.
— New York Post (@nypost) February 13, 2021
Northam declined to offer advice to his fellow Democrat but claimed he “took accountability” for his blackface scandal and used the incident to pass legislation designed to ease punishment for crimes that he presumably thinks are prevalent in the black community.
In fact, he did confess in February 2019 that he was one of two people in a photo in his medical school yearbook — one in blackface and the other in Ku Klux Klan garb — but then recanted a day later.
“Well, that was a difficult time for Virginia and I took accountability for what happened,” Northam told Avlon. “I said that I’m gonna bring good from this. I listened to a lot of people. I learned a lot.”
“We have turned a lot of what I’ve learned about into action, whether it be criminal justice reform, police reform, ending the death penalty, doing things like making sure that people don’t have their driver’s license taken away because they can’t pay their court fines,” Northam said.
“So I’m proud that Virginia stuck with me. And again, I think we were able to bring a lot of good from this.”
Gov. Ralph Northam on his proposal to legalize marijuana in Virginia: “We know that Blacks and Whites use marijuana at the same rate but Blacks are three to four times more likely to be arrested and convicted. So, this is wrong, and we’re going to right a wrong.” pic.twitter.com/tRITsTRDgs
— New Day (@NewDay) April 1, 2021
Avlon then posed the same question a second time, asking: “To be clear, do you think that Governor Cuomo should follow your playbook, as some are calling on him to do, or do you think he should resign because of the allegations put forward?”
Northam avoided the political minefield by deflecting and said New Yorkers should decide what happens to their governor.
“Well, these allegations are serious and I do believe they need to be investigated, but as far as what happens with Governor Cuomo, that’s up to the people of New York,” he said.
Conservatives have slammed the establishment media for treating both the Northam and Cuomo scandals with kid gloves while rabidly pouncing on any unsubstantiated rumor against a Republican.
Did we get an update on #Cuomo this week or are his friends in the media doing an excellent job at giving him the “ignore it until it goes away like Governor Northam’s blackface” deal?
— Kimberly Klacik (@kimKBaltimore) April 2, 2021
For Democrats, at least, the “carry on as if nothing’s wrong” strategy seems to work out just fine.
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