Gov. Andrew Cuomo pledged on Monday that voters across the state would reject the message of President Donald Trump.
“What [Trump’s administration] is doing is not just repugnant to Democrats, what they are doing is repugnant to any decent, feeling, honorable, virtuous American,” Cuomo said in a speech at a Democratic Party fundraiser at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. “This is not a blue wave, this is a red, white and blue wave, my friends. What they’re doing is not just anti-Democrat or anti-New York, it is anti-American.”
The event — with $450 tickets for individuals, or $4,000 for a table of 10 — was intended to raise money for the Nassau County Democratic Party. Among the prominent Democrats in attendance were Rep. Tom Suozzi, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, County Comptroller Jack Schnirman, Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and Councilwoman Anna Kaplan, and Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen.
Cuomo appeared at the fundraiser briefly to tout his accomplishments and warn Democrats that it could all be undone by the federal government.
“The threat now is Washington, and Washington could wipe away everything that we’ve done,” Cuomo said.
He touted the SAFE Act passed by New York after the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, saying it proved that sensible gun control could work. He said New York’s increases in the minimum wage and free tuition to SUNY colleges for New York residents could serve as examples for the rest of the country.
He said that if Democrats wanted to be successful, they had to push for “life-changing” legislation, like that passed under Franklin Roosevelt or Lyndon Johnson.
“That’s when the Democratic government was at its best,” Cuomo said, mentioning programs like Social Security and Medicare. “Government that doesn’t make an effect is an impotent government, and I feel like, for too many years, Democrats forgot that.”
Cuomo was introduced by the county’s Democratic Party chairman, Jay Jacobs. He opened by thanking the many Democrats for attending and reinforced the importance of the 2018 election.
“Two years ago, I would’ve told you there was no way that Hillary Clinton would not beat Donald Trump, and I was wrong,” he said. “And now we see the results of it.”
He said that the Republicans under Trump were “a new and different” party and compared them to the characters of the Wizard of Oz. They were like the Tin Man, who had no brain, because they ignored environmental issues.
“Who with brains would deny the science of climate change?” Jacobs asked.
He also said the handling of the migrant crisis, where children were taken from their parents, showed the Republicans lacked a heart. And the refusal of the rank-and-file GOP to stand up to the president showed they lacked courage, he continued.
But unlike the movie, “this is not a bad dream,” he said. “We’re in a new America now. A Trump America. An America that is all about promoting hate and division … this is not the America that our Founding Fathers risked everything to give us.”
After Cuomo spoke, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, Letitia James, made brief remarks. She called the law “her sword and her shield” and promised to fight for the rights of New Yorkers.
“As the next attorney general, I look forward to protecting the environment, protecting women, protecting workers, protecting immigrants, protecting members of the LGBT community, prosecuting polluters from Bethpage to Buffalo, defending the Affordable Care Act, and fighting to protect New Yorkers with pre-existing conditions,” she said.
Over 1,000 people attended the dinner. According to a Newsday report, the dinner raised over $500,000.
Reach reporter Luke Torrance by email at email@example.com, by phone at 516-307-1045, ext. 214, or follow him on Twitter @LukeATorrance.