Biden, Cuomo team up to promote New York's Sandy recovery
January 7th, 2014
02:06 PM ET
10 months ago

Biden, Cuomo team up to promote New York's Sandy recovery

(CNN) – Sitting side by side, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Vice President Joe Biden sought to highlight the Empire State's continued recovery efforts Tuesday, roughly a year after Congress approved billions in aid for the state left badly bruised by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

At the event in Albany the governor gave a 25 minute presentation on the state's plans to redesign key infrastructure along the coastline, as well as create backup energy grids and new weather detection systems–all with the help of funds from the federal government.

Cuomo–a potential rival for Biden if they both run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016–hailed New York's rebuilding efforts as innovative, and Biden labeled the state a model for the rest of the country in how to prepare for extreme weather in the future.

"I know there are global warmer deniers. I'm not going to get into that debate," Biden said. "But the reality is: This is going to continue to happen."

After a bitter fight on Capitol Hill last January that pitted some Republicans against their own party, Congress ultimately approved $60 billion in aid for the states affected by Sandy. President Barack Obama signed it into law.

"The vice president is joining us because…this wouldn't happen without the federal government and without their support," Cuomo said, also praising the Obama administration for cutting a lot off red tape in the immediate aftermath of the storm.

In his own remarks Tuesday, Biden alluded to the ugly battle in Congress.

"Sometimes our fellow colleagues and other parts of the country don't have the same empathy and sympathy for disasters that occur on the East Coast as we on the East Coast consistently have for disasters that happen in the Midwest and the far West," he said.

Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, also a possible 2016 candidate, has been at the forefront of issues related to Sandy recovery, and was one of the Republicans who blasted Washington last year for holding back the disaster relief funds.

Biden also responded to critics who argued government couldn't be trusted to handle that much money and still get the job done.

"Every independent organization, including the (Government Accountability Office) pointed out that less than one half of one percent resulted in waste or fraud," he said. "This can be done. And it must be done, because otherwise we're going to be left behind."

Both Biden and Cuomo said the country's infrastructure problems are keeping the United States from competing with other countries that are investing in newer technologies.

Also at the event, the two political figures exchanged plenty of praise.

Endorsing Cuomo's plans for redesigning much of New York's infrastructure, Biden told the governor, "You're not just leading in New York, you're leading the country."

"I think a lot of governors and a lot of folks could learn an awful lot from…what you do here," he continued.

While polls indicate Hillary Clinton would be the overwhelming frontrunner if she runs for president in 2016, a CNN/ORC International Poll conducted in November shows that if the former Secretary of State passes on a second White House bid, Biden would be the leading contender in the Democratic primary with 43%, with Cuomo coming in next at 15%. (Sen. Elizabeth Warren received 17% support, but she has since declared she will not pursue a presidential run in 2016.)


Filed under: Andrew Cuomo • Joe Biden • New York
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    This is very good news. I work in the transportation industry (rail), and I see first hand how devastating Sandy was to our infrastructure. It will take Billions of dollars to get our trains and subways back to a level of quality again.

    January 7, 2014 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    Hey. Celebration at my house today. We're officially at 0 degrees!

    "But the reality is: This is going to continue to happen."

    Yeah. Extremes at both ends ... too hot and too cold. Just ask Australia how the heat is working for them. We in Minnesota understand how this cold snap is working for us.

    And the super storms? Guess even the Weather Channel has decided winter storms are severe enough now to name (in order to track). Or something.

    January 7, 2014 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Too bad fewer & fewer republicans believe in evolution and climate change. Let's ask those two GOP senators who shunned Gov. Cuomo & Christie when Sandy hit, but when those tornadoes came through their neck of the woods, who was it looking for a handout.......

    January 7, 2014 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  4. yolanda

    Nice segue into evolution Dutch. Why stop there? Do more Democrats believe in evolution and climate change? I didn't realize that everything was decided along party lines. Maybe you should buy a dog, name it Mitt, and beat it every day.That would undoubtedly make you feel superior as well.

    January 7, 2014 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    yolanda
    Nice segue into evolution Dutch. Why stop there? Do more Democrats believe in evolution and climate change? I didn't realize that everything was decided along party lines. Maybe you should buy a dog, name it Mitt, and beat it every day.That would undoubtedly make you feel superior as well.
    -----------------------------------------
    If I had a dog named Mitt, I'd hang it from a tree and do my best Michael Vick impersonation.

    January 7, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  6. yolanda

    Touche' Dutch. I'd do my best Marcus Vick imitation and get him stoned.

    January 7, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  7. Silence DoGood

    @yolanda
    "Do more Democrats believe in evolution and climate change?" ......"undoubtedly make you feel superior"
    --------
    Surveys do support the idea that more Dems believe. I wouldn't call it superior: How would you feel about someone from the past arriving here in our time believing in a flat Earth and stars painted on the ceiling of the sky? Wouldn't try to educate them. And certainly not elect them to office for lack of modern understanding.

    January 7, 2014 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  8. GOP=ROTTEN

    @Yolanda

    How does it feel to be part of a political party that is no longer relevant and pretty much despised?

    January 7, 2014 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  9. The Real Tom Paine

    -yolanda

    Nice segue into evolution Dutch. Why stop there? Do more Democrats believe in evolution and climate change? I didn't realize that everything was decided along party lines. Maybe you should buy a dog, name it Mitt, and beat it every day.That would undoubtedly make you feel superior as well.
    ****************************
    I would have thought, given the insistence by the rabid base of the GOP that the Bible be used as the basis for all decisions, that the fact that Democrats embrace science more readily than the GOP would be obvious. Now, I leave animal cruelty to those that insist that the Lord gave them dominion over all beasts ( which once again places more of them in the GOP camp than the Democrats). I have heard these same excuses soming out of the mouths of conservatives for years as justification as to why science, history and education in general are not something we should invest in as a culture, Yolanda. Maybe its not decied along party lines for everyone, but I've not seen too many conservatives willing to support data on climate change, but they are more than willing to listen to someone like Rep. Broun of Georgia, who, even though he is a doctor, has described Evolution and genetics as "...lies from the pit of Hell".
    He chaired the House Committee on Science and Technology recently.

    January 7, 2014 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |