Cuomo says he won't 'rise to the bait' from Trump: 'This is no time for politics'

New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoCalifornia Dems back Yang after he expresses disappointment over initial DNC lineup New York may be undercounting coronavirus deaths in nursing homes: AP Cuomo calls on NYPD to 'step up' in enforcing coronavirus regulations at bars MORE (D) said Monday he won’t engage President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrat calls on White House to withdraw ambassador to Belarus nominee TikTok collected data from mobile devices to track Android users: report Peterson wins Minnesota House primary in crucial swing district MORE in political squabbles amid the coronavirus pandemic plaguing his state and the nation. 

“I'm not going to get into a political dispute with the president,” Cuomo said at his daily briefing. “I'm not going to rise to the bait of a political challenge.” 

Cuomo’s comments came hours after Trump said during an interview on “Fox & Friends” that he “wouldn’t mind running against Andrew,” as the incumbent Republican president criticized Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenNAACP seeks to boost Black voter turnout in six states Biden touts Trump saying Harris would be 'fine choice' for VP pick Kamala Harris: The conventional (and predictable) pick all along MORE

ADVERTISEMENT

“I think probably Andrew would be better,” Trump said. 

Trump also took some credit for the high approval ratings Cuomo is seeing over his handling of the pandemic. 

“One of the reasons he’s successful is because we’ve helped make him successful,” Trump said in the interview. 

Eighty-four percent of New Yorkers said they approve of Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic, according to a Siena College poll released Monday. The same poll found Cuomo’s favorability hit a seven-year high at 71 percent. 

Cuomo thanked the president, saying he “takes his comment as a compliment.” 

“As far as the president’s comment about having a political contest with me, I am not engaging the president in politics. My only goal is to engage the president in partnership. This is no time for politics,” Cuomo added. 

ADVERTISEMENT

He also doubled down on comments that he is not running or planning to run for president this year. 

“Forget the politics, we have a national crisis. We are at war, there is no politics. There is no red and blue, it’s red, white and blue. Let's get over it and lead by example,” Cuomo said. 

He also said he’ll thank Trump when the president helps his state, for example by sending the U.S. Navy hospital ship that arrived in New York Harbor on Monday to aid hospitals overwhelmed by coronavirus patients. 

“When you help my state, I’ll say thank you. If I believe that New York is not being served … I’ll say that, too,” Cuomo said.