Disgraced former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo appears to be trying to mount a political comeback with a six-figure ad blitz across the state, The New York Times reports.
Cuomo resigned last year amid a growing sexual harassment scandal but kept his re-election campaign active. The campaign this week spent $369,000 on TV ads recasting the former governor as the victim of the scandal.
The ad falsely seeks to portray the scandal as the work of New York Attorney General Letitia James.
“Political attacks won,” the ad says “And New Yorkers lost a proven leader.”
The ad does not seek to promote Cuomo or any candidates or raise money for any cause.
But political observers saw the move as a potential comeback bid, especially with speculation swirling that Cuomo may try to run against James. Cuomo previously served a term as the state’s attorney general.
Cuomo fails on facts:
Despite Cuomo’s suggestion that the scandal was manufactured by James, the attorney general launched her probe after numerous women came forward to allege sexual misconduct, including former aides and a state trooper.
Multiple prosecutors investigated the allegations. Although no charges were filed, multiple prosecutors said the allegations were “credible.”
The New York state legislature also ran its own impeachment investigation but Cuomo ultimately resigned before a vote to impeach him.
The sexual harassment allegations were only part of the investigations. James also alleged that Cuomo used state resources to publish his pandemic-era memoir.
James previously released a report finding that Cuomo’s administration hid roughly half of the total deaths at nursing homes in the state after issuing an order to require such facilities to accept infected patients.
Cuomo falsely claims exoneration:
Despite Cuomo’s attempt to paint himself as exonerated in the scandal, he still faces legal scrutiny.
The state trooper who accused him of groping her filed a civil lawsuit and Cuomo and his top aide.
Cuomo still faces investigations related to the nursing home deaths and his $5.1 million memoir.
“Instead of accepting responsibility, serial sexual harasser Andrew Cuomo continues to challenge the accounts of victims,” nine women’s rights organizations wrote in a joint statement on Monday. “This attempt to claim exoneration won’t work.”
“The only thing Andrew Cuomo has proven himself to be is a serial sexual harasser and a threat to women in the workplace — no TV ad can change that,” a spokeswoman for James told the Times. “It’s shameful that after multiple investigations found Cuomo’s victims to be credible, he continues to attack their accounts rather than take responsibility for his own actions.”