CNN political commentator Angela Rye on Wednesday declared her agreement with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D.) now-retracted claim that America hasn't ever been great.
Rye, the former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus, debated Donald Trump campaign adviser Gina Loudon about diversity in the White House, which she said was lacking. Rye argued Trump is a racist and lambasted the administration for appointing Ben Carson to be secretary of Housing and Urban Development, but Loudon argued the two could find common ground.
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"Angela, I understand your feelings on this," Loudon said.
"No you don’t," Rye interjected.
"I have a adopted minority son, yes I do, who happens to have Down syndrome," Loudon went on, as Rye scoffed. "He experiences bigotry every single day in a myriad of ways, not just because of his skin color but also because of his disability."
"I understand that you and I don’t agree, but I would not support a president that I believed was going to be a threat to his future," Loudon added.
"But you are," Rye interjected again.
Gina said she wanted a "constructive conversation" and to acknowledge the positives of Trump’s administration, and she said Rye’s position was similar to Cuomo’s statement that America was never great. Rye embraced that charge and excoriated Loudon for mentioning her son.
"America has never been great, and it’s not great because people like you come on and lie for the president of the United States and then tout, bring out your son as an example, you’ve got to be completely ashamed of yourself," Rye said.
Gina called for starting with what they agree on and to have a dialogue that isn’t so divisive, but Rye blamed Trump for calling people names and setting a bad example.
"All right, we’ll leave it there," host Erin Burnett said, ending the segment.
Cuomo got a mixed reaction for saying America "was never that great," and he qualified his statement by saying America is working to reach greatness. However, his office released a statement saying Cuomo meant to say America is great.
"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," Cuomo’s office said in a statement.