ICYMI: Zeldin Desperate to Hide Anti-Abortion Agenda
For Immediate Release: May 12, 2022
NEW YORK, NY: Another day passed, and Lee Zeldin continues to distance himself from his extreme, anti-abortion agenda by downplaying his own recent statements on his far-right plans. A new report from Newsday highlights just how far Zeldin will go to mislead New Yorkers and hide his record.
In a closed-door campaign event, Zeldin promoted his far-right platform, telling the Right to Life Party that he would open the executive chamber to anti-abortion advocates and appoint a health commissioner opposed to abortion rights.
Facing scrutiny for positions that are vastly out-out-touch with New Yorkers, Zeldin attempted to walk back his comments and mislead voters about his extreme record on reproductive rights.
See key excerpts from the Newsday story below:
By: Michael Gormley, 5/11/22
ALBANY — Rep. Lee Zeldin, a Republican candidate for governor, told a Right to Life group in a closed campaign event in April that he would open the executive chamber to anti-abortion advocates and might even appoint a health commissioner opposed to abortion rights. [...]
But this week in a public news conference, Zeldin took a different tack, saying that even if he were governor, he wouldn't be able to weaken abortion laws because the State Legislature is still controlled by Democrats. [...]
But she said avoiding the abortion issue is no longer possible for Zeldin and other Republicans.
Now, "the issue on abortion will be front and center in New York’s governor’s race," Del Percio said. Zeldin's opposition to abortion rights "may help him in the primary, (but) he will be painted as an extremist in the general election."
"It would be a great benefit for the state of New York to have a health commissioner who respects life as opposed to what we're used to," Zeldin said in a video of the closed event first reported by NY1. He also said he'd provide an open door to the anti-abortion advocates to the governor's office in Albany: "Come on into the second floor of the New York State Capitol. It's been a while, but you come right on in."
On Monday, Zeldin tried to downplay the issue of abortion and tried to redirect the press conference to issues of crime, inflation and what he sees as Hochul's failures to hold down spending and to root out corruption. [...]
Zeldin on Monday wouldn't answer reporters' questions about whether he would use a governor's leverage under law in crafting a budget to restrict abortion laws. [...]
"There is no question that abortion is going to play a larger role in this year's elections — from statewide races down to local races — than it has in any recent election cycle," said Steven Greenberg of the Siena poll. [...]