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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo jokes that Jews have no rhythm

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo pauses as he speaks at a mewsconference near the site where a Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Metro North Railroad commuter train had hit a car near the town of Valhalla, New York, February 3, 2015. A crowded New York commuter train struck a car near suburban White Plains during Tuesday evening's rush hour, sparking an explosion and a fire that killed seven people, officials said. Six passengers on the train died, as well as the driver of the car, Cuomo told a news conference after visiting what he said was a devastating scene. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: DISASTER TRANSPORT POLITICS) - RTR4O55T

REUTERS

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has joked during a speech at a predominantly black New York City church that Jews lack rhythm when dancing.

The Democrat seeking a third term in office made the awkward crack Sunday at Mount Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem.

Noting he was Catholic, Cuomo said Catholics and Baptists share many of the same beliefs but Catholics "do it without the rhythm."

He added: "But we try. We are not as without rhythm as our Jewish brothers and sisters."

Cuomo then singled out Hank Sheinkopf, a Jewish Democratic political consultant who was moving to the music in a front pew. Cuomo referred to Sheinkopf's movements as "ugly."

A Cuomo spokeswoman later told the New York Post the governor was poking fun at himself and a longtime friend.

Cuomo is being challenged in the Democratic primary for governor by Cynthia Nixon, a progressive activist best known for her acting work on HBO's "Sex and the City." The primary will be held in September.