Cuomo greeted the congregation, saying, “God is good” and noting that he has gone through a “difficult time” over the past few months, “probably the toughest time of my life.” Cuomo said he had not spoken about the situation in public up to that point because he wanted to do so at the church “because God’s guidance is helping me through. Let go, let go, let God.”
According to Cuomo, we should expect that God will send us challenges in life. But God has a purpose for everything, and what matters is how we respond to those challenges. The former governor said the Bible has been guiding him—during his talk he cited the Psalms, Romans, and Genesis.
Cuomo addressed the allegations of sexual harassment, attributing them to a “new sensitivity” that young people have. He said that no one told him that he was causing discomfort and he never sensed he was doing so. “I was trying to do the exact opposite,” he said. “But I’ve been called old-fashioned, out of touch, and I’ve been told that my behavior was not politically correct or appropriate. I accept that.”
Cuomo did not admit to harassing the women who have come forward, nor did he make any apologies in that regard, but rather said he did not realize how fast “social norms” had changed. For that misunderstanding, he said, “I am truly, truly sorry.”
Emphasizing the fact that there are no criminal cases against him, while not acknowledging that some prosecutors found the allegations credible, Cuomo said district attorneys used “cancel culture” to oust him from office. The former governor talked at length about the perils of cancel culture, which “endangers us all.” He called it a “new extremism” and connected it to the Tea Party, which “founded the cancel culture mentality.”
The speech feeds speculation that Cuomo will run for office again, even though he has not formally announced an intention to do so. Anna Gronewald, who reported on the story for Politico, observed, “Nothing he is saying—his resignation was a result of dangerous ‘cancel culture’ & both Assembly and AG misused power—is new. The difference is the very brazen move of making this defense from the pulpit of a Brooklyn house of worship.”