Axios' Jonathan Swan States (What Should Be) the Obvious: Biden's Silence on Cuomo Is 'Conspicuous'

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Posted: Mar 14, 2021 5:50 PM
Axios' Jonathan Swan States (What Should Be) the Obvious: Biden's Silence on Cuomo Is 'Conspicuous'

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

On Friday evening, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand finally broke their silence and called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign, now that seven women are accusing him of sexual misconduct. The fellow New York Democrats had faced criticism and pressure that stemmed from their silence.

That leaves us with the other Democratic leader: Joe Biden, who just so happens to be the president of the United States and the head of the party.

"Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace brought this up with his panel, which included Axios' Jonathan Swan:

Well, part of this is that Andrew Cuomo doesn't have a lot of friends, doesn't have a lot of ingrained loyalty and affection for him over the years. He's made a lot of enemies and now in his moment of need, he is finding himself very isolated. Him and Chuck Schumer have a terrible relationship, so Chuck Schumer calling for him to resign won't have any impact on Cuomo's thinking but you just mentioned the elephant in the room, it's Joe Biden. He has a long-term, long, deep relationship with the Cuomos, father and son, Mario and Andrew, and this makes it extra uncomfortable. As of yesterday I'm told that Joe Biden has not discussed the scandal with Andrew Cuomo, but each day that passes and more Democrats come out calling for his resignation, the president's silence becomes more conspicuous. I don't know that it's sustainable as these allegations pile up for him to remain silent. 

Swan also called Biden's silence "conspicuous" in his piece for Axios, also published on Sunday. He aptly began by writing:

Based on everything we know about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's psyche, it's impossible to imagine him resigning unless he knows he has no way out. The only Democratic figure who could plausibly persuade Cuomo to resign is President Biden.

Also appearing on the "Fox News Sunday" panel was Donna Brazile, who made the same point:

He's defiant. He's not going to listen to the music no matter how loud it plays in and around him. He is going to follow his own instincts, which is to try to tough it out, because that's the kind of person he is. This is a drip drip drip situation and unfortunately he is not going to be able to govern effectively for the people of New York who really need leadership at this moment.  

Swan also went into further detail about the Biden-Cuomo familiarity, linking to this New York Times piece from last year.

If Biden knows Cuomo, and could get through to the embattled governor, then who cares about what's "extra uncomfortable" when doing the right thing is on the line?

Swan concluded his Axios piece by noting that the position of "increasingly conspicuous" silence "already seems unsustainable."

The White House on Friday repeated support for an investigation about these allegations:

The President believes that every woman who’s come forward — there have now been six, I believe, who have come forward — deserves to have her voice heard, should be treated with respect, and should be able to tell her story.  There also is an independent investigation that is ongoing, of course, in the state, with subpoena power overseen by the attorney general, and he certainly supports that moving forward.

As a reminder, there are actually seven.