The Daily News has obtained what should be the transcript of the conversation between President Trump and Gov. Cuomo in advance of the two strong-willed Queens boys’ planned White House lunch Wednesday.
Trump: So, you’re not going to challenge me in 2020. Smart! You’d lose bigly.
Cuomo: I’ve got enough on my plate. For one, we badly need new rail tunnels connecting us to Jersey; not everyone takes a Marine chopper back and forth. Did you watch the video I made?
T: Yep. It looks wet, from the standpoint of water, and dirty, from the standpoint of dirt. But Chuck Schumer keeps pushing for this yuge Gateway thing; he wants a 50-50 state-federal split like Obama promised and he refuses to fund my big, beautiful Wall.
C: The 1910 tubes really do need fixing. One fails, and it’s an economic cataclysm.
T: But the price is $30 billion and growing. Why should I pay half of that?
C: You’ve got a point. Even the first phase that Amtrak is pushing, two tunnels for $11 billion and a new $2 billion bridge in Jersey, doesn’t add any new capacity. It would take the full $30 billion and another bridge, plus tearing down a chunk of Midtown to add a single new train.
But you can be the big man. Think Wollman Rink: Right-size the plan and expedite federal approvals. Use design-build to dig the tunnels and raise a simple four-track bridge in Jersey, doubling capacity. The states and feds split the $15 billion cost, saving $15 billion.
T: I like it. I beat Obama and Schumer and Amtrak and save $15 billion. And you get new tunnels and twice as many trains going through. But I still don’t like the name.
C: How about we call it Trump Tunnel? And paint it gold?