Cuomo mocked for hailing Ted Kennedy's 'humanity' on getting award: 'Mary Jo Kopechne unavailable for comment'

'I wouldn't brag about Ted Kennedy's humanity, leadership or putting people first.....I'm sure Mary Jo Kopechne and her family would question that!'


                            Cuomo mocked for hailing Ted Kennedy's 'humanity' on getting award: 'Mary Jo Kopechne unavailable for comment'
(Getty Images)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was mocked for saying he learned “humanity” from the deceased Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), who infamously pleaded guilty after he left the scene of an accident that resulted in a woman drowning in 1969. 

Cuomo's comments came after he received the Edward M. Kennedy Institute Aware for Inspired Leadership on Wednesday, December 9. “You try the best you can with communication and then you have to set — you know, leadership is sometimes doing what’s unpopular, and setting restrictions for society that you know are in their best interest even though they are not popular,” Cuomo said during the awards ceremony.

“And they are not popular right now. You know, people want to be able to go to a restaurant, want to be able to go to a bar, and this is the season. But leadership is doing what’s hard when it’s right, and that’s part of the function also.”

He added: “I miss Senator Ted Kennedy. I miss his leadership; I miss his spirit; I miss his personality. I miss his record of accomplishments; I miss his laugh; I miss his personal touch, the charisma, and the inspiration. The inspiration. He was inspirational as a government leader. And God bless everyone involved in the institute for keeping that alive. He was one of the greats. The greats. And a role model for many of us. I know for me."

He later tweeted: "I am honored to receive the 2020 Edward M. Kennedy Institute Award for Inspired Leadership. I learned about humanity, leadership and putting people first from the great Senator Ted Kennedy. Congratulations to my fellow recipient Gov. Charlie Baker."



 

Most people are aware of the incident involving Mary Jo Kopechne, a staffer for Robert F. Kennedy, who was in the car with Ted Kennedy in 1969 when the latter drove off a bridge near Chappaquiddick in Martha’s Vineyard. Kennedy swam to safety without trying to save Kopechne, who died. He did not report the accident until the following morning and later pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident. 

The pair had been at a party, along with Kennedy’s cousin, Joseph Gargan, and former US Attorney for Massachusetts Paul Markham. “Gargan and Markham not only failed to get immediate help, but also let the senator swim back alone to report the accident from Edgartown,” Gwen Kopechne, Mary Jo’s mother, said, Smithsonian magazine reported. “This is the big hurt, the nightmare we have to live with for the rest of our lives: that Mary Jo was left in the water for nine hours. She didn’t belong there."

As a result, social media users were soon to ridicule Cuomo for his statement. "Hmmm... Ted Kennedy didn't always put people first," one said, while another remarked, "Mary Jo Kopechne unavailable for comment." A third said, "I wouldn't brag about Ted Kennedy's humanity, leadership or putting people first.....I'm sure Mary Jo Kopechne and her family would question that! But you let innocent people die on your watch, so....shoe fits!"

Another user on Twitter stated, "Mary Jo Kopechne learned about Ted putting people first (Mainly Ted) as well. She has been unavailable to comment, however."  The next commented, "Put a plaque for him on the Chappaquiddick bridge." One user said, "Humanity and leadership from Ted Kennedy??? He showed a lot of that in Chappaquiddick..." Another quipped, "Killer honoring Killer. Mary Jo Kopechne, and thousands of NY nursing home residents, all unavailable for comment."



 

 



 

 



 

 



 

 



 

 



 

 



 

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