New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who recently had a jubilant time inserting himself into a "student-led" march for gun control, took his act to a predominantly African-American church in Harlem this weekend, where he promptly made headlines by comparing various religious groups' sense of "rhythm."
"I want you to know as a matter of full disclosure, I am a Catholic," Cuomo told congregants at the Mount Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem on Sunday. "Catholics basically believe the same teachings that Baptists believe. We just do it without the rhythm. But we try."
Not having quite enough tact to leave it at self-deprecating humor, Cuomo added, "We are not as without rhythm as some of our Jewish brothers and sisters." The observation, he suggested, was prompted by the "ugly" dancing of Democratic consultant and Orthodox rabbi Hank Sheinkopf. "I was watching Mr. Sheinkopf here in the front row moving to the music," said Cuomo. "It was ugly, I'll tell you the truth."
Unsurprisingly, Cuomo's comment raised some eyebrows. The NY Post — which began its coverage of the made-for-headlines quote with an appropriate "Oh vey!" — followed up by asking Sheinkopf what he thought about the joke.
"There weren’t many people laughing, but I didn’t feel humiliated," the rabbi told the outlet, adding, "He’s the governor. He’s now in charge of American dancing."
As The Post points out, Orthodox Jewish Democratic State Sen. Simcha Felder was even less willing to give Cuomo's attempt at comedy much credit. "I can write better material," he said, while Jewish Republican operative Arthur Schwartz Cuomo said the governor should "focus more on governing and less on Jew jokes."
As for what Cuomo was there to promote: Well, he's up for re-election, so he was there to tout his various black community-friendly positions, including slamming the so-called "school-to-prison pipeline" that so often finds its way into Democrats' talking points despite its factual and logical gaps. During his comments, Cuomo tried to coin a new phrase on the issue: the "home-to-prison pipeline," which he blamed on shoddy public housing.
In case you missed the governor's big photo op for the student gun control walkout, check out these classic Cuomo photos.