After two days of criticism from his New York political opponents and the Twitter feed of President Donald Trump, Governor Andrew Cuomo is walking back his comment that America “was never that great.”
The second-term Democrat made the comment during a bill-signing Wednesday before his press office released two statements attempting to clarify his meaning. Cuomo was asked about the comment on a conference call with reporters Friday.
“The expression I used the other day was in artful so I want to be very clear," Cuomo said. "Of course America is great. And of course America has always been great. No one questions that. As you know my family is evidence of American greatness. My grandparents came to this country as poor immigrants and their son became governor and his son became governor so that’s never been a question.”
Cuomo made the controversial comments in the context of a larger speech on existing inequalities in American society.
Cuomo then doubled down on his on going criticism of President Trump, saying the president’s polices are “the antithesis of American greatness.”
“His philosophy is not just repugnant to New York, his philosophy is anti-American. His vision of America isn’t great at all," the governor said.
The governor’s Republican opponent, Marc Molinaro, is demanding an apology for Cuomo’s initial remarks. His Democratic primary opponent, Cynthia Nixon, slammed Cuomo for modifying his comments, saying he “folded like a cheap suit” and backed down when under pressure.