NYC
02/21/2011 09:34 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Gov. Cuomo's Speech Drowned Out By 'Tax The Rich' Chants

Andrew Cuomo may be popular amongst most New Yorkers, but a very vocal group of protesters made their displeasure with the governor known.

Cuomo's speech to the Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators was interrupted by chants of "tax the rich," lead by City Councilman Charles Barron.

From the New York Daily News:

Cuomo received a warm welcome as he began to address the group, but within moments Barron (D-Brooklyn) did a Kanye West and stole the spotlight.

"Shame on you," Barron yelled at Cuomo after walking from the back of the Albany Convention Center to the front.

Unfazed, Cuomo responded, "How are you tonight, Charles? I can't see who it is, but I know who it is."

Barron then began yelling "tax the rich" and he was joined by a "small but vocal group in the crowd of more than 500" according to the Daily News.

Cuomo's proposed budget calls for significant cuts to education and medicaid and the governor is opposed to raising taxes to help close the state's $10 billion deficit. He wants to eliminate the so-called millionaire's tax, which applies to some of those making $200,000 or more.

Cuomo has also pushed for a cap on the state's property tax.

Before the governor's speech, Barron was critical of Cuomo's strategy to get the state back on solid financial ground.

"It is cutting us to the bone," Barron said. "Tax the rich. Don't come to the table saying the only thing you're going to do is cut."

Cuomo pointed to his sky-high approval ratings as evidence that Barron, and his small contingent of rabble-rousers, do not speak for most of the voting public.

"If you take that barometer, then you would say people accept the budget that I put out," Cuomo said.

The governor also explained his reasons for not wanting to impose tax hikes.

"I don't believe in increasing taxes," he said. "I believe it's counterproductive for the state. I believe more people will leave the state and you'll have less revenue."