Lee Zeldin plays electability card as ‘losing’ rivals attack in last GOP gov debate

Lee Zeldin plays electability card as ‘losing’ rivals attack in last GOP gov debate

Tuesday’s third and ultimate New York gubernatorial debate devolved right into a spherical of finger-pointing over conservative cred as putative frontrunner Rep. Lee Zeldin insisted he was the only option to defeat Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul this fall.

“On this stage you simply have individuals who hold dropping,” Zeldin stated close to the tip of the hour-long Rochester slugfest hosted by Newsmax. “They are saying, ‘Effectively, I misplaced. It was actually shut on this race. It was actually shut once I misplaced on this race and it was actually shut the place I misplaced this race.’”

“People who find themselves paying consideration, are scared for the way forward for this state, they’re hitting their breaking level,” Zeldin added. “They wish to again a winner, and they’ll once they vote for me” within the June 28 main.

Zeldin’s assault gave the impression to be aimed immediately at businessman Harry Wilson and former Westchester County Government Rob Astorino, each of whom argued they’ve particular enchantment to normal election voters — regardless of a dropping report on the poll field.

It was one of many few moments of friction in a debate the place the 4 candidates largely agreed on hot-button points like rising crime, inflation, crucial race idea and firing controversial Manhattan District Legal professional Alvin Bragg – as they did in Monday night time’s debate hosted by Spectrum Information. 

Wilson – a relative reasonable – was the GOP nominee for state comptroller in 2010 and misplaced to Democratic incumbent Tom DiNapoli.

Successful over suburban Westchester Democrats was key to Astorino’s two profitable campaigns for county govt in 2009 and 2013.

However Zeldin famous Tuesday that Astorino subsequently misplaced a 2014 bid for governor, a 2017 marketing campaign to win again the county exec seat, and a 2020 election for state Senate. 

“I’ve now gained seven consecutive races. Rob Astorino misplaced three consecutive races for 3 completely different workplaces,” Zeldin stated. “I acquired reelected [to the state Senate in 2012], and that’s in a Senate district that has extra Democrats than Republicans.”

The 4 Republican candidates face off throughout New York’s Republican gubernatorial debate on Jun. 20, 2022, in Rochester, New York. (Pool Picture/Brittainy Newman)

Former White Home staffer Andrew Giuliani – who appeared on stage in particular person Tuesday night time after taking part nearly within the first two debates resulting from not being vaccinated towards COVID-19 – has by no means run for elected workplace, and Newsmax moderator Eric Bolling steered at one level that the son of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani would have by no means made it to the controversy stage if not for his well-known final identify. 

“Most of your marketing campaign supplies say Giuliani for Governor. One phrase is lacking: Andrew,” Bolling stated.  

However Zeldin was the main focus of a lot of the assaults, along with his rivals reiterating accusations that he was too near now-disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo throughout his four-year tenure within the state Senate.

“Sadly, it was individuals within the State Senate in New York, in Albany, like Lee Zeldin, who had been voting for the Cuomo budgets the complete time that acquired us up to now.” Astorino stated whereas pivoting away from a query on inflation. 

Zeldin has led most polling within the race whereas constructing edges over his opponents in fundraising and endorsements, together with latest backing by The Submit Editorial Board.

His rivals sought to attain a knockout blow within the three televised debates by attacking his previous feedback the place he praised Cuomo, whereas suggesting he was not sufficiently supportive of former President Donald Trump.

“It is a man who, a pair years in the past, stated that President Trump made racist statements, and lied to you final night time, women and gents. Sadly, he’s going to flip and flop,” Giuliani stated in reference to a CNN clip that he posted Monday night time.

“It [was] truly selectively edited. What I had said and what I used to be doing in that interview was that I stated that ‘President Trump was not a racist’ and this CNN host stored making an attempt to get me to confess to it and I stated, ‘He’s not a racist.’ And that’s unlucky,” Zeldin stated in response.

“Andrew was proper, you realize, what we’ve seen with Lee, over time … he will get very defensive,” Astorino needled.

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