A widening gulf is emerging within the Democrat Party between those who are demanding the resignation of embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) over sexual misconduct claims, and those who are taking a wait-and-see attitude, and the names of some in the latter group are somewhat surprising.
As Fox News reports, during a Sunday appearance on ABC’s This Week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just(D-CA) declined to call on Cuomo to step down amid mounting pressure among Democrats at the local, state, and federal levels, suggesting that he needs to do some soul searching instead.
According to a partial transcript of the interview provided by Breitbart, when asked directly by host George Stephanopoulos whether Cuomo should resign, Pelosi attempted to deflect by declaring her own hostility toward the sort of conduct alleged by the governor’s accusers:
I said there’s zero tolerance for sexual harassment, and we have taken measures in the House of Representatives, very strong measures in the House under the leadership of Congresswoman Jackie Speier of California.
What I said at the time that these revelations came forward, I said what these women have said must be treated with respect. They are credible and serious charges, and then I called for an investigation.
Stephanopoulous pressed the speaker on whether Cuomo is capable of effective leadership in light of the claims against him, yet Pelosi persisted in her obfuscation, replying:
No tolerance. No tolerance, and this is a subject very near and dear to my heart. There is no tolerance for sexual harassment. I’ll let the world know that.
Asked point-blank whether she was calling for Cuomo’s resignation, Pelosi demurred, stating:
I think we should see the results, but he may decide, and hopefully this result will be soon, and what I’m saying is the governor should look inside his heart. He loves New York, to see if he can govern effectively. That could be one of the considerations he has.
According to NBC News, after having remained silent on the controversy in recent weeks, President Joe Biden also broke his silence on the topic on Sunday, taking a stance similar to Pelosi’s by saying, “I think the investigation is underway and we should see what it brings us.”
Unfortunately for Cuomo, the reluctance of Biden and Pelosi to demand his departure is not shared by an expanding list of lawmakers ranging from members of New York’s own congressional delegation, a host of state legislators, and prominent officials in New York City government.
Just this Friday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) added their names to those seeking Cuomo’s ouster, a roster that also includes Democrat Reps. Jerry Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Kathleen Rice, according to the New York Post.
Despite Cuomo’s defiant refusal to willingly leave office, the recent announcement by the New York State Assembly of an impeachment probe against him, the specter of criminal liability resulting from alleged misdeeds, and the rapid evaporation of support from members of his own party may ultimately take the decision out of the governor’s hands.