WASHINGTON — NEW York Gov. Mario Cuomo suggests that Democrats could capture the White House this year if Bill Clinton runs for the presidency arm-in-arm with the Congress.
Mr. Clinton has an unusual opportunity as the challenger in 1992 because both houses of Congress are in his party's control, Governor Cuomo says.
Unlike President Bush, Clinton can go before the American people with the leaders of Congress and jointly promise to pass specific programs on health care, the economy, urban rebuilding, and other areas in critical need.
A Democratic president and a Democratic Congress could break the log jam that is holding back progress in the United States, Cuomo told a group of reporters over lunch.
"President Bush cannot tell you he will deliver anything because, even if he were to win, he has to face a Democratic Congress," Cuomo observes. But Clinton can say: "If I win, here's the outline of the health-care bill they're going to pass the first day I'm there. Here's the urban agenda.... When I win, they pass it, I sign it. You have effective government for the first time in years and years and years.
"If he [Bush] wins, you're right back to where you are, everybody running around in wild circles, achieving nothing."
Clinton can use the same argument against the challenge by Ross Perot, Cuomo says. "If President Bush can't get the Congress, why should Perot be able to get them? He has no political background."
In the coming general election, Cuomo says, he hopes Clinton can wage a positive campaign that avoids the negative attacks of past years. Cuomo predicts that many former "Reagan Democrats" will return to the Democratic Party. Blue-collar workers who have lost their jobs and their health care have given up on the GOP, he says.