Cuomo, embroiled in scandal, laments 'politics' as he resigns
NEW YORK - In his resignation address Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo repeatedly claimed responsibility for making his 11 accusers feel uncomfortable ("I take full responsibility for my actions," Cuomo said), but while he apologized to his victims, the governor also depicted himself as someone, somehow, also worthy of the public's pity.
"Obviously, in a highly political matter like this," Cuomo said, "there are many agendas and there are many motivations at play."
"The governor deserves to be treated fairly," Cuomo's attorney, Rita Glavin said, "and that did not happen here."
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Glavin offered a more blunt assessment of the attorney general's report that led Cuomo to resign.
"The report got key facts wrong," Glavin said. "It omitted key evidence and it failed to include witnesses whose testimony did not support the narrative that was clear that this investigation was going to weave from day one."
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"I think it undercuts your credibility that you're taking full responsibility when you blame the media, blame the political climate and you blame a cultural or generational difference," said Evan Nierman, the founder and CEO of the public relations and crisis communications firm Red Banyan.
Nierman pointed to a number of public relations missteps on the part of Cuomo's teams in the last week but found the governor's unwillingness to let his admission of guilt stand alone without a long list of qualifiers especially problematic.
"It's a political answer that I don't think is going to satisfy a lot of people," Nierman said.
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"It's not surprising that he took that tone," National Organization for Women – New York City President Sonia Ossorio said.
Whether or not Cuomo positioning himself as a victim proves politically savvy, Ossorio found it predictable.
"He is just the last person at this point who should be an ambassador for talking about the inequities that women face in the workplace," she said.
"Ego is at the root of most crises that we deal with," Nierman said.
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"I love New York," Cuomo said. "And I love you and everything I have ever done has been motivated by that love."
"The governor had no opportunity to respond," Glavin said.
The governor's news conference Tuesday was closed to the media.