President Trump fired back at New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo late Wednesday, saying the Democrat was having “a total meltdown” after he declared at an earlier bill-signing that America “was never that great.”
The Democrat made the seemingly off-hand comment as part of his rebuke of President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan during the event in New York. But the line drew gasps from the crowd.
“We’re not going to make America great again. It was never that great,” Cuomo said.
“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 fired back at the president on Twitter shortly after.
.@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
“@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,” the tweet said.
During Wednesday’s event, Cuomo went on to say that the country had not yet achieved “greatness.”
“We have not reached greatness, we will reach greatness when every American is fully engaged, we will reach greatness when discrimination and stereotyping against women, 51 percent of our population, is gone and every woman’s full potential is realized and unleashed and every woman is making her full contribution,” he said.
Following the remarks, a spokeswoman for the governor stressed that he “believes America is great,” which will become more evident “when every man, woman, and child has full equality. America has not yet reached its maximum potential.”
“When the President speaks about making America great again – going back in time – he ignores the pain so many endured and that we suffered from slavery, discrimination, segregation, sexism and marginalized women’s contributions,” Cuomo’s press secretary, Dani Lever, said in the statement. “The Governor believes that when everyone is fully included and everyone is contributing to their maximum potential, that is when America will achieve maximum greatness.”
The New York Democrat is currently engulfed in a gubernatorial primary race against actress and activist, Cynthia Nixon. He is also considered a potential White House contender in 2020.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw and The Associated Press contributed to this report.