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Cuomo Regrets His Comments as Trump Piles On

'Of course America is great,' declares the New York governor
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 17, 2018 12:20 PM CDT
Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

(Newser) – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday that he was "inartful" when he said earlier in the week that America "was never that great," a comment that was widely condemned and mocked by critics on the right and left. "I want to be very clear: Of course America is great and of course America has always been great," Cuomo, a Democrat, told reporters on a conference call. "My family is evidence of American greatness." Cuomo's appraisal of the nation was somewhat different Wednesday when, speaking at a Manhattan bill signing, he critiqued President Trump and his slogan, "Make America Great Again." Said Cuomo: "We're not going to make America great again—it was never that great." As the surprised audience reacted, he added: "We have not reached greatness. We will reach greatness when every American is fully engaged."

The comment set off a wave of criticism of Cuomo, who is seeking a third term this fall and is considered a possible White House contender in 2020. After clarifying his thoughts to reporters, Cuomo said he has no plans to run for president but will continue his criticism of Trump, who is scheduled to attend a Long Island fundraiser Friday. Calling the president "vindictive, petty and small," Cuomo said "Make America Great Again" reflects Trump's desire to return America to a time of greater intolerance and inequality. "Everything he does is repugnant to our values," he said. Trump, meanwhile, revisited the controversy Friday on Twitter, with not one, not two, not three, not four, but five tweets on the subject. Among other things, Trump suggested that Cuomo's line might be "career threatening."

(Read more Andrew Cuomo stories.)

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