President Donald Trump took credit for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s high poll numbers on Monday, saying “one of the reasons why he’s successful is we’ve helped make him successful.”
“You say he’s gotten good marks but I’ve gotten great marks on what we’ve done,” Trump boasted on Fox & Friends when asked about Cuomo’s rising popularity amid the coronavirus pandemic that has hit New York especially hard.
The results of a Siena College poll released Monday gave the Democratic governor a 78% approval rating among New Yorkers, his highest level since early 2013. Among the Republicans polled, Cuomo earned a 70% approval rating. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) also scored a 61% approval rating among New Yorkers for his response to the crisis.
In contrast, Trump’s approval rating among New Yorkers was just 41%.
“One of the reasons why his numbers are so high in handling it is because of the federal government,” Trump said during his Fox News appearance. “Because we give him ships, and we give him ventilators, and we give him all of the things that we’re giving him.”
A U.S. Navy hospital ship with 1,000 beds docked in New York Harbor on Monday to help relieve New York medical facilities in treating patients with ailments other than COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Trump said “wouldn’t mind running against” Cuomo in this year’s presidential race, saying he thought the governor would be a stronger contender than former Vice President Joe Biden, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination.
But Trump expressed confidence he would beat Cuomo, saying, “Every poll says I’m going to win,” he said.
Cuomo, despite easily winning a third term in 2018, had been seeing his popularity flagging. A Siena College poll taken in early February showed his favorability rating at 43% ― his lowest mark in office.
But as governor’s performance and prominence in dealing with the coronavirus crisis has spurred the turnaround in public opinion, his actions have also sparked talk of a presidential bid by him, but he has consistently said that will not happen ― a stance he reiterated at his Monday briefing.
He also declined to in any back-and-forth with Trump about a White House race, saying, “As far as the president’s comment about having a political contest with me, I am not engaging the president in politics. My only goal is to engage the president in partnership. This is no time for politics,”
The governor and the president have generally praised their communication amid the health crisis, though they have also publically sparred at times, particularly over Cuomo’s request for thousands of ventilators for his state.
As of Monday, over 59,000 COVID-19 cases had been confirmed across New York. That’s four times more than the next highest amount reported ― roughly 13,400 ― in New Jersey.
Trump, when asked about Cuomo’s ventilator request last week, brushed it off as unnecessary.
“I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators,” Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday. “You know, you go into major hospitals sometimes, they’ll have two ventilators. And now all of a sudden they’re saying can we order 30,000 ventilators?”
Cuomo, 62, is the son of another three-term New York governor, Mario Cuomo (D).