Cuomo blames AOC's political influence for Amazon HQ2 fallout

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo may not have immediately blamed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for the collapse of Amazon’s HQ2 deal in Long Island City, but he is now.

During a Tuesday interview on WNYC Radio, Cuomo said he believed that newcomer Ocasio-Cortez’s shocking upset over Rep. Joe Crowley -- once considered a candidate for House speaker -- in last year’s Democratic primary caused New York politicians to move further left out of fear of similar primary challenges.

“The state said we’ll put forth the application only if the local politicians and community supports it. Sen. [Michael] Gianaris signed the letter of support. [City Councilman Jimmy] Van Bramer signed the letter of support,” Cuomo said during the interview. “We win.”

But after Ocasio-Cortez (a self-described Democratic socialist) won her race, Cuomo said a “political shift” took hold in New York politics.

“It was a political shift,” he said. “And then they oppose the very application that they supported. They signed the darn application. We win. The same people who sign it then say, ‘Oops, the politics changed, I changed my opinion.’”

The e-commerce giant was supposed to build its new campus in New York, but pulled out in mid-February after facing mounting criticism for the $3 billion in incentives that it would receive as a result of the deal. In exchange, Amazon said it would create 25,000 high-paying jobs and invest tens of millions of dollars in the local area.

Ocasio-Cortez and several local and state politicians, including State Sen. Michael Gianaris, were noted critics of the deal; when Amazon announced it was pulling out, the New York representative applauded the news on Twitter.


“Plenty of companies (even large ones) move to NYC without needing an unprecedented $3b tax giveaway that isn’t extended to other local business owners - just look at Google, for example,” she said. “Deals have to be fair.”