Joe Biden's Remarks About Andrew Cuomo Are Raising Eyebrows

Though Andrew Cuomo was widely praised for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, his approval ratings have plummeted ever since. On August 10, 2021, Cuomo resigned from his post following a report from the New York Attorney General's Office, which found him to be guilty of sexually harassing multiple women. In a press conference that same day, the politician said he took "full responsibility for [his] actions," despite his earlier claim that the investigation was "politically motivated," according to CNN. "I'm a New Yorker, born and bred," Cuomo defended himself. "I'm a fighter and my instinct is to fight through this controversy because I truly believe ... it is unfair and it is untruthful and I believe it demonizes behavior that is unsustainable for society."

Cuomo's resignation comes as a relief for many. Following the bombshell investigation findings, Democrats like Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — and even President Joe Biden — called for Cuomo to step down from his duties as governor. "Recognizing his love of New York and the respect for the office he holds, I call upon the governor to resign," Pelosi said, according to CNBC. Likewise, President Biden told reporters at the White House that he believed Cuomo should quit.

But as of August 10, Biden's most recent remarks are contradicting his earlier statement, and at the very least, they're certainly stirring up some questions! So, what did Biden have to say about Cuomo's resignation?

What does Joe Biden think about Andrew Cuomo's performance as governor?

When asked by a reporter about Andrew Cuomo's job performance as governor, President Joe Biden surprised reporters (and listeners) with his response. "Well, he's done a hell of a job," Biden said, via New York Post. "And I mean both on — everything from access to voting to infrastructure to a whole range of things. That's why it's so sad." According to the outlet, the shock statement prompted a follow-up from CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins, who asked if Biden could really praise Cuomo when "he's accused of sexually harassing" multiple women.

The president clarified that he was referring to Cuomo's professional work and not his personal behavior. "The question is did he do a good job on infrastructure. That was the question. He did," Biden said, per New York Post. Biden went on to express his belief that "women should be believed when they make accusations," though he did not explicitly express sympathy for Cuomo's female victims.

Following the tense exchange, White House press secretary Jen Psaki took to Twitter in defense of the president's words. "@potus responded to a specific question today about @NyGovCuomo work on infrastructure," she tweeted. "He also made clear it was right for @NYGovCuomo to step down, reiterated his support for women who come forward, and made clear you can't separate personal behavior from other work." According to CNBC, Psaki previously said that Biden was in favor of Cuomo's resignation.