Disgraced former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was eyeing a presidential bid but was talked out after his old ally Biden unveiled a new book.
Cuomo, 65, resigned in 2021 amid a sexual harassment scandal but “privately” considered running for the White House in 2019.
He decided against this after his old friend Biden, 80, was convinced he was “still young.”
The president also told him that they would both “cannibalize the center” and lead to a far-left politician receiving the Democratic nomination.
The revelations have emerged in a new memoir by Cuomo’s former right-hand adviser, Melissa DeRosa, who served as secretary to the governor of New York from 2017 to 2021.
In her book “What’s Left Unsaid,” she revealed that she and Cuomo met Biden in Virginia ahead of the 2020 presidential primaries at the former vice president’s Georgian mansion near the Potomac.
Impeached New York Governor Andrew Cuomo considered running for president in 2019, but was persuaded against it by his old friend Biden.
Once there, they had a meeting arranged by Steve Ricchetti, now an adviser to President Biden, and the twoappealed to Cuomo to sit out the race.
“They said I was still young,” Cuomo told DeRosa in the car after the meeting concluded. “That if I ran this time, he and I would cannibalize the center, and a far-left would get the nomination.”
Cuomo, who had been “personal friends with Joe’s son Beau before he died and was first in line at his wake,” the book said, was influenced by their reasoning.
He pledged to resign and support Biden and did so “every day” until his own resignation following sexual harassment allegations.
Cuomo resigned in 2021 amid an investigation into his conduct by New York Attorney General Letitia James and her damning report that found he sexually harassed 11 women.
He has long maintained his innocence, claiming his resignation was intended to avoid an impeachment trial that would take time and money.
Despite his close relationship with the president, Biden called for his resignation and admitted he had not read the report.
He said at the time: ‘Look, what I said was: if the attorney general’s investigation showed that the allegations were true, then I would – as early as March – recommend that he resign. That’s what I’m doing today. I haven’t read the report. I don’t know the details of it. All I know is the end result.’
Biden told Cuomo that he was “still young” and that if they were both a candidate, it could divide voters at the center of the party and lead to a far-left candidate.
In contrast, DeRosa quit in solidarity with her former boss and was among his most vocal supporters. In the memoir, she focused on Biden’s behavior.
DeRosa wrote, “Two years later, Biden turned his back on his old friend Cuomo without so much as a cursory glance at the report, it caused a stampede.”
She also criticized “every member of New York’s congressional delegation” who called for Cuomo’s resignation, including Democratic governors Ned Lamont of Connecticut and Phil Murphy of New Jersey, plus U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.
She wrote: “None of them had read the report and none of them asked questions, a point underscored by the President of the United States himself when he called for the resignation of his longtime friend and ally.”
At the time he was considering a presidential bid, Cuomo’s star was on the rise following his re-election to a third term as governor the year before.
His popularity exploded during the pandemic after he was roundly praised for his handling of Covid-19.
His daily presentations and chat show appearances made him a leading Democratic voice on the pandemic and landed him a $5 million book deal detailing the state’s response.
This eventually unraveled after it emerged that Cuomo had implemented a disastrous policy of discharging Covid-positive patients to nursing homes to address overcrowding in New York hospitals, and then underreported the number of deaths resulting from it.
Cuomo (pictured in 2021 after his resignation speech) considered the bid for two years before he was forced to resign as governor amid allegations that he sexually harassed 11 women
The details of the Biden-Cuomo meeting are included in Melissa DeRosa’s upcoming book, which details her years as an aide to the former governor.
He was ordered by The Joint Commission on Public Ethics to pay back the profits from his book, but this was later destroyed and he was allowed to keep every cent.
Cuomo’s political reputation first began to crumble in December 2020 when former aide Lindsey Boylan became the first woman to go public with allegations of sexual harassment.
But despite mounting accusations, Cuomo resisted calls to resign and only stepped down after James’ report, which included an allegation from former aide Brittany Commisso that Cuomo groped her breast at the executive mansion in November 2020.
The disgraced politician has not faced any criminal charges and has consistently denied wrongdoing.
However, both Cuomo and DeRosa were sued for damages by a state trooper who claims the ousted governor groped and sexually harassed her and that his aide allegedly covered it up.
A federal judge recently dismissed the lawsuit against DeRosa, but it continues against Cuomo.
The former governor saw his popularity rise during the pandemic thanks to his daily briefings and media appearances, but that would not last long as the impact of his failed policy of discharging Covid-positive patients to nursing homes became clear.
The trooper, known only as Trooper 1, claims Cuomo tried to kiss her, steered conversations toward sex, asked her to help find him a girlfriend and once asked, “Why aren’t you wearing a dress?”
She also accused him of inappropriately touching her while she worked in his security department.
As part of his defense, Cuomo has subpoenaed five of the 11 women he accused of sexual harassment.
Subpoenas were sent to Virginia Limmiatis, Brittany Commisso, Ana Liss, Alyssa McGrath and Lindsey Boylan.