Gov. Cuomo flubs attack on Trump slogan

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In an attempt to mock President Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan, Gov. Andrew Cuomo shocked his audience at a bill-signing event Wednesday.

"We're not going to make America great again -- it was never that great," the governor said.

He was attempting to make a larger point about women's rights, but the initial reaction drowned out the rest of his words.

"You never want to come off that you don't believe in America," says Michael Dawidziak, a political analyst. "You have to inspire. Leaders inspire."

Dawidziak says the governor may have just handed Republicans a ready-made attack ad for his rumored 2020 presidential bid.

"In the annals of misspeaking, this is a particularly egregious one," Dawidziak says. "This is one that can be used over and over and over and over again."

Republicans have already pounced on the gaffe. Marc Molinaro, the Dutchess County executive who hopes to take Cuomo's job in this year's gubernatorial election, was quick to go on the offensive.

"America, with its imperfections, has always been great," he said. "Mr. Cuomo owes the nation an apology."

Republican Rep. Peter King had a more metered reaction.

"While America is not perfect, it is the greatest nation in the world because it is always improving," he said. "That is why so many immigrants are so desperate to come here."

Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs came to the governor's defense. 

"I think what the governor was saying is not that America isn't great, but America is not yet perfect," he said. "And in that I would agree. While we are a great nation, we have a ways to go until we are a perfect nation, and that's what we should aspire to." 

Gov. Cuomo's office also released a statement conveying a similar message.

"The governor believes America is great and that her full greatness will be fully realized when every man, woman and child has full equality," a spokeswoman said.

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