Gov. Andrew Cuomo sought to smooth over his relationship with Senate Republicans on Tuesday, telling them in a closed-door budget briefing at the executive mansion that he could have done a lot more to help his own party gain control of the chamber, but didn’t.

The conversation was relayed to reporters by freshman Sen. Jim Tedisco, who said GOP lawmakers brought up Cuomo’s efforts in the campaign season in endorsing Democrats running in a handful of key races.

“He said you can’t call that campaigning,” Tedisco said. “He mentioned he had $19 million in the bank. He mentioned that he could have used that money very aggressively and that he didn’t. He mentioned that he could have done a lot more in campaigning and that he didn’t. But he also mentioned that there are realities and that he’s a Democrat and we’re Republicans.”

Liberals and some Democrats have been derisive of Cuomo’s efforts over the years to help the mainline Democratic conference gain control of the chamber.

The balance of power in the Senate is essentially unchanged this year with Brooklyn Sen. Simcha Felder remaining in the GOP fold. Cuomo bowed out of an effort to push the seven-member Independent Democratic Conference to align with mainline Democrats in the Senate. The IDC remains in a governing coalition with the Senate GOP.

Still, Republicans in the Senate who have worked well with Cuomo over the years have been increasingly aggressive when criticizing Cuomo’s policies.

“I think the candor that took place in there was a little bit surprising,” Tedisco said. “He said we’ve worked together, we’ve been very successful.”