Gov. Andrew Cuomo raised eyebrows Monday morning after the New York Democrat mistakenly mourned the death of Una Clarke — a prominent member of the Caribbean-American community.
Cuomo made the gaffe at a community breakfast, where he offered remarks celebrating the achievements of Caribbean-Americans and paid homage to major figures of the community, including Bill Howard, a longtime organizer of the West Indian Day parade.
“Una Clarke, God rest her soul,” Cuomo said, which was met with “loud gasps” at a breakfast following the West Indian Day parade, according to the New York Post. The 2020 hopeful quickly corrected the gaffe with: “Una Clarke, who is with us here today.”
“Every community that comes to this country has obstacles that they have to face. And every community has pathfinders and leaders who overcome those obstacles,” Cuomo continued. “West Indian community, Shirley Chisholm, God rest her soul. Una Clarke, God rest her soul. [Crowd reacts] Una Clarke – who is with us here today. Sorry, sorry. Bill Howard, God rest his soul.
Clarke was the first-ever Caribbean-born woman to win a seat on New York City Council and is the mother of Congresswomen. Yvette Clarke (D-NY).
In response to the gaffe, Rep. Yvette Clarke said Cuomo appeared to have been “misinformed” regarding the fact that her 83-year-old mother is “here kicking and strong as ever.”
In August, Cuomo drew ire for proclaiming America “was never that great” during a bill signing event, widely regarded as a rebuke of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”.
“We’re not going to make America great again. It was never that great,” Cuomo said while decrying gender inequality in the United States.
“We have not reached greatness. We will reach greatness when every American is fully engaged,” he added. “We will reach greatness when discrimination and stereotyping against women, 51 percent of our population, is gone, and every woman’s full potential is realized and unleashed, and every woman is making her full contribution. When that happens this nation is going to be taken even higher.”
President Trump weighed in on the controversial remarks, pointing to them as proof that Cuomo experienced a “total meltdown.”
“WE’RE NOT GOING TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, IT WAS NEVER THAT GREAT.” Can you believe this is the Governor of the Highest Taxed State in the U.S., Andrew Cuomo, having a total meltdown!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2018
“‘WE’RE NOT GOING TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, IT WAS NEVER THAT GREAT,'” the president tweeted. “Can you believe this is the Governor of the Highest Taxed State in the U.S., Andrew Cuomo, having a total meltdown!”
Cuomo is campaigning for the fight of his political life, challenged by former Sex and the City actress Cynthia Nixon, who has led a wave of far-left outsider candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Florida’s Andrew Gillum.