Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a radio interview on Tuesday vociferously defended his track record as a progressive, arguing that he “is the left” in New York politics.

Cuomo in an interview with WAMC pointed to his successful efforts on issues like the $15 minimum wage in the New York City area, a newly approved sexual harassment law, and the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Cuomo, as he has done before, pointed to the root of the word “progressive.”

“I would challenge almost everything you just said, but to be selective and helpful and constructive – the, I am, I believe I am the most progressive, or one of the most progressive leaders in the state,” Cuomo said.

“It depends on how you define ‘progressive,; and that, my friend, should be the discussion in this Democratic presidential primary. What does that mean, ‘progressive’? OK we don’t want to say “liberal,” anymore so we say ‘progressive.’ How do you define ‘progressive’? By pontification, by rhetoric? By aspirational goals with no realistic plan or knowledge or analysis? And who, doctor, has actually gotten more done. See I like to say you can’t be a progressive without making progress.

Asked by host Alan Chartock if this was a “shot at the left” in New York, Cuomo turned it around.

“No, I am the left,” he said. “I am the left. Who says that progressives are more progressive than other progressives? You know what I mean? What is this? It’s all self-proclaimed and self-described.”

Cuomo in the past has hitched himself to other amorphous objects. In a 2011 interview, Cuomo said, “I am the government” when discussing how he is looked to as being the one taking responsibility for the executive branch.

Cuomo over the last eight years has had a truculent relationship with progressive advocates, who have nudged him primarily on economic issues facing the state, including spending more for education, increasing taxes on the rich and banning hydrofracking.

And, during this time, the state has renewed higher tax rates on the wealthy, increased school funding and placed an administrative ban on hydrofracking. But, progressive advocates have said, the efforts haven’t gone far enough.

Cuomo has faced primary challenges from his left flank in 2014 and 2018, defeating Zephyr Teachout and Cynthia Nixon by similarly comfortable margins each time.