By Neetu Chandak
New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo tried a do-over after saying America was “never that great” at a legislation signing that would make sex-trafficking a felony in the state Tuesday.
“We’re not gonna ‘Make America Great Again.’ It was never that great,” Cuomo originally said in a livestream, referring to President Donald Trump’s “MAGA” slogan. “We will reach greatness when discrimination and stereotyping against women, 51 percent of our population, is gone … and every woman is making her full contribution.”
The correction came after a number of critics, including Democratic and Republican gubernatorial opponents and the president himself, called out Cuomo’s comments.
“The Governor believes America is great and that her full greatness will be fully realized when every man, woman, and child has full equality,” Cuomo’s press secretary Dani Lever said in a statement. “America has not yet reached its maximum potential.”
Lever added that when Trump talked about making America great again, he was focused on going back in time when people suffered from “slavery, discrimination, segregation, sexism and marginalized women’s contributions.”
“Can you believe this is the Governor of the Highest Taxed State in the U.S., Andrew Cuomo, having a total meltdown!” Trump said in a tweet around 7 p.m. Wednesday.
“WE’RE NOT GOING TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, IT WAS NEVER THAT GREAT.” Can you believe this is the Governor of the Highest Taxed State in the U.S., Andrew Cuomo, having a total meltdown!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2018
Cuomo responded to Trump’s tweet about half an hour later.
“What you say would be ‘great again’ would not be great at all…We will not go back to discrimination, segregation, sexism, isolationism, racism or the KKK. Like NY’s motto says: Excelsior — Ever Upward (not backward).”
.@RealDonaldTrump: What you say would be 'great again' would not be great at all…We will not go back to discrimination, segregation, sexism, isolationism, racism or the KKK.
Like NY's motto says: Excelsior — Ever Upward (not backward) https://t.co/nrcUrsYJCO
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) August 16, 2018
Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro called on Cuomo to issue an apology to the country.
“This governor is so determined to distract voters from his failed policies and corrupted administration that he’s willing to dismiss the steady, determined march of the American people, making and remaking the greatness of America,” Molinaro’s statement said.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate and actress Cynthia Nixon wasn’t buying Cuomo’s remarks.
“I think this is just another example of Andrew Cuomo trying to figure out what a progressive sounds like and missing by a mile,” Nixon said, according to NY1.
Cuomo is seeking a third term as governor for the state.
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