- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 6, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) - Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi told cheering union members at a Manhattan rally Tuesday that New York’s eight Republican members of Congress must go down to defeat in 2018.

“New York is on the front lines of our fight to restore sanity in Washington,” Pelosi said. The San Francisco lawmaker added, “New York, are you ready to hold the Trump administration and the Republicans in Congress accountable?”

Cuomo said New York’s Republican Congress members don’t represent the state’s interests but are “political pawns of the ultra-conservative puppet masters in Washington.”

Cuomo has sought to position himself at the forefront of opposition to Republican President Donald Trump’s policies on immigration, access to health care, environmental regulation and other issues.

“New Yorkers know that we are all immigrants,” he told the rally at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. “You want to deport immigrants, start with me.”

Actors Steve Buscemi and John Leguizamo also addressed the crowd of construction workers, nurses, teachers, Teamsters and other union members.

Buscemi said Trump, who spent years demanding to see former President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, should release his own birth certificate.

“Was he even born on Earth?” Buscemi asked. “When you read his tweets you gotta wonder, what planet is he from?”

While it’s not uncommon for Democrats to criticize Republicans, Cuomo’s remarks come amid speculation that he may seek the White House in 2020.

State Republican Chairman Ed Cox, a son-in-law of former President Richard Nixon, said Cuomo only cares about his national ambitions.

“The governor may have delusions of grandeur, but what he needs is a reality check,” Cox said.

Cuomo has said he will seek a third term.

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