ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said America "was never that great" during remarks criticizing President Donald Trump and his slogan, "Make America Great Again."
The Democrat made the comment on Wednesday at a bill signing event in Manhattan.
Cuomo said the Republican president wants to return to an era of greater sexism, racism and intolerance toward immigrants. He says America has made great strides toward equality, but that it can't consider itself great until there's full equality for all.
Cuomo is seeking a third term this fall and is considered a potential White House contender in 2020.
In a statement Wednesday, Cuomo's Press Secretary Dani Lever said:
Jessica Proud, spokesperson for the Republican Party said, 'America is & always has been the greatest.' She should talk to President Trump who says make America great again - which obviously means he doesn't think it is great now.
Governor Cuomo disagrees with the President. The Governor believes America is great and that her full greatness will be fully realized 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. 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.
Republicans pounced on Cuomo's comments. GOP gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro, the Dutchess County executive, said Cuomo should be ashamed and owes the nation an apology.