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Eyeing 2020, NY Governor proposes free college: Progressives aren’t buying it

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

The 2020 presidential election won’t occur for another 1,399 more days, and yet Democrats are already trying to beef up their progressive credentials for the party’s primary.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced a plan on Tuesday morning with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) offering free two-year community college to New York families with an income of $125,000 or less, reported The New York Times.

Cuomo stood side-by-side with Sanders, two former political enemies who blasted each other last April on the issues of gun control and minimum wage, declaring free college as the future.

The bill is set to cost more than $160 million annually and would need approval by the Republican-controlled State Senate, so it’s not even guaranteed to pass. However, Cuomo’s no fool. He knows that in order to gain any hopes of snagging the Democratic nomination in 2020, he would have to win over progressives like Sanders.

As Governor of New York, Cuomo has been praised as the face of moderate Democrats, who is fiscally moderate and socially liberal having backed both gay marriage and property tax caps. He works well with the Republican State Senate and has even campaigned for those who voted for some of his agenda.

He’s also had an openly hostile relationship with progressive New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and has barely lifted a finger to repair the broken Democratic Party in the State Senate, some of whom caucus with Republicans.

For all those reasons and more progressives aren’t buying his “come to Sanders” moment on education policy. Brendan O’Connor wrote in Jezebel on Tuesday an article entitled “Andrew Cuomo is a f****ing snake.”

“Andrew Cuomo wants to be loved,” O’Connor wrote. “He wants to run for president. He is also the embodiment of a morally bankrupt Democratic Party that has failed, at every juncture, to live up to any of the ideals it purports to hold dear. Andrew Cuomo is a snake. He should be allowed nowhere near the 2020 presidential election.”

Still, Cuomo realizes that he has a golden opportunity, there are just a handful of statewide elected Democrats with the pedigree to run for president and progressives are between a rock and a hard place.

He thinks that if he can cater to enough of them to be acceptable, he can be a male Hillary without the e-mails.

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