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Cuomo walks back 'America was never great' comment

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Gove. Andrew Cuomo walked back comments made earlier this week where he said that America “was never that great,” saying they were “inartful” and that he does believe the nation is, and has always been, “great.”Cuomo made the controversial comments on Wednesday in the context of a larger speech on existing inequalities in American society.

“The expression I used the other day was inartful,” said Cuomo. “I want to very clear. Of course America is great. And of course America has always been great. No one questions that.”

Cuomo then doubled down on his ongoing criticism of President Trump, saying the president’s polices are “the antithesis of American greatness” and he wants to turn the clock back on rights for workers, immigrants, women and LGBTQ people.

“He wants to go back to before Roe v. Wade. He wants to go back to before there was environmental protection, back to before there were workers’ rights, back before there was marriage equality, back before all these new immigrants started to come to this country,” Cuomo said. “His philosophy is not just repugnant to New York, his philosophy is anti-American. His vision of America isn’t great at all.”

Cuomo also denied that he has any plans to run for president.

The governor’s Republican opponent for governor, 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.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. WBFO listeners are accustomed to hearing DeWitt’s insightful coverage throughout the day, including expanded reports on Morning Edition.
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