ALBANY, N.Y. -- Whether he's talking about gun control in New York City Or discussing tax reform with reporters in Watertown, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been vocal about his concerns with more and more federal issues, often leveling his criticisms directly at Congress.

"He's a fairly combative kind of guy," said Kevin Hardwick, Republican analyst. "I mean, just ask the leadership of his own party in the state Legislature how combative he is and here's an opportunity to score some points with national Democrats simultaneously."

While the rhetoric has ramped up recently, Hardwick says the trend actually began earlier this year when the governor joined congressional Democrats in an effort to unseat New York Republican representatives, then took on some of them over health care issues.

He says the relationship never appeared to be so strained in the past.

"In fairness, there hasn't been the need to because he's always had the executive; with President Obama in there, Congress wasn't going to do anything that was going to be of major consequence because you had the president, Democratic president with the veto power," said Hardwick.

Hardwick believes Cuomo, who has his own reelection bid in 2018, won't be hurt by focusing his ire on the federal government.

"I think you can do both and probably you should do both because decisions that are made in Washington are going to have an impact on us in New York State," Hardwick said. "We certainly have seen that time and time again."

At the same time, the analyst says, in consistently entering the fray on issues like federal tax reform, gun control and health care, Cuomo may have his eyes on a different campaign in 2020.

"I think he's running for president," Hardwick said. "The only thing that's missing is an announcement."