Andrew Cuomo is not having a good month. Ever since Joe Biden’s inauguration, the flood gates have opened on his many scandals, including his disastrous nursing home policies that killed thousands of innocents. To compound on that, two women came forward to accuse Cuomo of sexual harassment, including unwanted kissing and offers to play strip poker.
Now, there’s a third woman emerging with her story, and this time we have a picture to help corroborate the accusation.
This photo of the encounter… pic.twitter.com/UaI7EGzvym
— Evan Siegfried (@evansiegfried) March 2, 2021
According to The New York Times, the picture above is of Cuomo grabbing the woman in question and asking if he can kiss her after she previously rebuffed his unwanted touching.
The governor was working the room after toasting the newlyweds, and when he came upon Ms. Ruch, now 33, she thanked him for his kind words about her friends. But what happened next instantly unsettled her: Mr. Cuomo put his hand on Ms. Ruch’s bare lower back, she said in an interview on Monday.
When she removed his hand with her own, Ms. Ruch recalled, the governor remarked that she seemed “aggressive” and placed his hands on her cheeks. He asked if he could kiss her, loudly enough for a friend standing nearby to hear. Ms. Ruch was bewildered by the entreaty, she said, and pulled away as the governor drew closer.
Cuomo will no doubt play this off as him just joking around, trying to flirt and be the life of the party. This is 2021, though, and such behavior is no longer just brushed aside as boys being boys. When taken in accordance with the other two accusers, this quickly starts to look like a pattern of abusive, boorish behavior that can’t just be ignored.
Democrats are seeing that and are abandoning ship. Mayor Bill de Blasio is blasting Cuomo while AG Latisha James is offering to appoint whoever is needed to do an independent investigation. The latter likely has her eye on taking Cuomo’s place as governor if it comes to that.
Will this be enough to take down the self-appointed “luv guv?” Color me skeptical. We’ve seen Democrats get away with worse, and Cuomo is a powerful figure in the bluest of blue states. If he doesn’t step aside, there’s little chance enough of the legislature would coalesce to remove him. Cuomo knows that and probably figures if he can just deny and bunker down, he’ll survive this and cruise to re-election.
We’ll see how this all plays out, but the heat is certainly being turned up on the New York governor.