- The Washington Times
Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Trump campaign accused New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Wednesday of defaming America when the prospective 2020 Democratic candidate said the nation was “never that great.”

Campaign senior adviser Lara Trump said Mr. Cuomo “showed his true, pessimistic colors when he defamed America” in a speech criticizing President Trump in Manhattan.

Mr. Cuomo was addressing the president’s slogan, “Make America Great Again,” and suggested that Mr. Trump’s policies are taking the country backward.

“The simple point is all this comes down to this: We’re not going to make America great again. It was never that great,” Mr. Cuomo said.

He added, “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.”

Mr. Cuomo, who is seeking a third term this year, was roundly criticized for the remark. Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro said Mr. Cuomo owed the nation an apology.

“America, with its imperfections, has always been great,” Mr. Molinaro said in a statement.

Ms. Trump said the vast majority of Americans “believe in America as the ‘last best hope of earth.’”

“America is not only the most prosperous and generous country to ever exist, it has lifted millions out of poverty and continuously sacrifices for the freedom of others,” she said. “Donald Trump’s eternal optimism about America is what people value in a leader committed to delivering real solutions for our country.”

Mr. Trump took aim at the governor at a campaign fundraiser in Utica, New York, on Monday, saying New York has the highest taxes in the nation and missed out on the natural-gas drilling boom. He said Mr. Cuomo confided to him in a phone call that he would not challenge Mr. Trump for the presidency in 2020.

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