New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday batted aside talk that he could be part of the 2020 Democratic presidential ticket amid a rise in his national profile during the expanding coronavirus outbreak.
“I don’t want to be vice president,” Mr. Cuomo said on WAMC radio. “I told the people of the state of New York I wanted to be governor and I said I would serve as governor and that’s what I want to do.”
Host Alan Chartock had raised the possibility and pointed to a recent poll showing Mr. Cuomo with a 73% approval rating among New York City voters.
“I am not doing anything different than I have done all my life, right?” Mr. Cuomo said. “I do what I do, right? It’s the same process for me, but to the extent it helps people now, I’m happy.”
Seemingly trying to stir the pot, Mr. Chartock pointed out that the same poll showed New York Mayor Bill de Blasio — a sometimes frenemy of Mr. Cuomo — had an approval rating of 40%.
Mr. Cuomo has been front and center during the COVID-19 crisis as chief executive of the hardest-hit state. He’s had an on-again, off-again relationship with President Trump and his daily updates on the virus’s impact on New York are routinely broadcast on national cable networks.
“People are dying,” the governor said. “There’s nothing I can do about it. I’m trying to do everything I can do. I’m working 24 hours a day.
“I think I know how to help, but I can’t stop it. I cannot stop it, and it hurts me,” he continued. “And you know, you talk about the poll says this, the poll says that. I look at that death count and it breaks my heart, and those are the numbers I’m watching.”
Earlier in the day, Mr. Cuomo reported that there have been 385 coronavirus-related deaths in New York, up from 285 deaths he had reported Wednesday.
The running mate point could be moot, as former Vice President Joseph R. Biden has already said he would tap a woman to be on the ticket if he’s the Democratic nominee.
Mr. Biden has accumulated a delegate lead that will be almost impossible for Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont, the lone remaining major Democratic contender, to overcome.
With traditional campaigning on hold because of the coronavirus, Mr. Biden has been largely relegated to his Wilmington, Delaware home and has been making sporadic media appearances and virtual addresses.
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