By Mahita Gajanan
August 16, 2018

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s statement that America “was never that great” has drawn a rebuke from President Donald Trump.

In a speech Wednesday, Cuomo blasted Trump and his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

“We’re not going to make America great — it was never that great,” said Cuomo, who is running for reelection. “We have not reached greatness. We will reach greatness when every American is fully engaged.”

The comment invoked audible reaction from the audience and swift criticism from Republicans. Late Wednesday, Trump joined the fray.

“Can you believe this is the Governor of the Highest Taxed State in the U.S., Andrew Cuomo, having a total meltdown!” Trump tweeted.

Cuomo’s press secretary later said said the governor does believe that America “is great” but that “America has not yet reached its maximum potential” in a statement to CNN.

“The governor believes America is great and that her full greatness will be fully realized when every man, woman, and child has full equality,” said Cuomo spokesperson Dani Lever. “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.”

Write to Mahita Gajanan at mahita.gajanan@time.com.

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