Governor Andrew Cuomo doesn't seem to have much love for rival gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout. Cuomo has refused again and again to debate Teachout in the lead up to the Democratic primary election this week. But it's even worse than that: it turns out Cuomo refuses to even acknowledge her presence when she's standing right next to him.
New York True posted video from last week's Labor Day Parade, which shows Teachout attempting to say hello to Cuomo and being completely ignored. A smiling Teachout says 'hi' to Cuomo, and even tries tapping his running mate, Kathy Hochul, on the shoulder. Instead of acknowledging her like a normal human being, Cuomo decides the best course of action is to repeatedly, desperately shout, "Where's Mayor Bill de Blasio?...Where's the mayor when you need him? We need the mayor!" Substitute 'I' for 'we,' and you get the drift.
Watch the painfully awkward moment below.
Of course, once de Blasio does show up he received a BIG, grateful hug from Cuomo—and then de Blasio too pretends like Teachout isn't standing directly in front of him. We know social situations can get a bit awkward with politics, but snubbing someone at a public event with cameras everywhere seems like an unwise decision.
"I just wanted to say hello as a courtesy," Teachout said about the snub. "We’ve been running against each other, and it seems pretty clear by now he’s not going to debate."
As for Cuomo, see no evil standing directly in front you, hear no evil standing directly in front of you, pretend no evil! "I know she was at the parade, but I didn't get a chance to talk to her," Cuomo said at a press conference when asked about Teachout.
Update: Liz Pitt, Deputy Campaign Manager for Teachout, sent out this statement about the incident today:
Something incredibly disturbing happened yesterday - and if you've seen the video that's spread across the internet of Andrew Cuomo refusing to shake Zephyr's hand or even look her in the eye, you'll know why I'm emailing.
I want to speak very bluntly about I saw happen yesterday.
Zephyr and Tim directly approached Andrew Cuomo and Kathy Hochul to greet them and shake hands. Andrew Cuomo didn't shake Zephyr's hand. Instead, he refused to look her in the eye, or even acknowledge her standing in front of him. He started desperately yelling to someone else in the crowd while his bodyguard attempted to block Zephyr. After a minute, she was forced to simply walk away.
It was extremely strange. It was extremely disrespectful. It was extremely embarrassing.
But it was more than just those things.
It was heartbreaking.
It was heartbreaking to see we have a Governor of New York who believes he can get away with acting like that in the year 2014.
First Cuomo tried to kick Zephyr off the ballot. Then he refused to debate her. Now he won't even shake her hand, or make eye contact.