Zeldin maintains support for Trump amid growing backlash
While East End Congressman Lee Zeldin has expressed his disgust toward Donald Trump’s obscene remarks about women, he’s still supporting the Republican presidential candidate.
Mr. Zeldin (R-Shirley) described his comments about groping women as “indefensible, lewd and wrong,” but will continue to support Mr. Trump for the presidency over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, the congressman’s spokeswoman, Jennifer DiSiena, confirmed Monday.
Several prominent Republicans have backed away from Mr. Trump, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, who announced Monday he would not defend Mr. Trump’s candidacy, according to published reports. Senator John McCain, who ran for president in 2008, also withdrew support for Mr. Trump.
Republican leaders fear the fallout from Mr. Trump’s campaign could affect congressional candidates, The New York Times reported.
Mr. Zeldin issued the following statement when asked for comment about Mr. Trump’s debate against Ms. Clinton:
“Across the First Congressional District, I hear from Long Islanders who are concerned with the direction our country has been going in, specifically with regards to our foreign policy, economy, healthcare, education, and infrastructure. They also place a high priority on protecting our natural resources, especially here on Long Island. Last night’s presidential debate touched on some of these important issues, but hopefully there will be more thorough vetting of the presidential candidates moving forward on their contrasting visions on policy.”
Mr. Zeldin is up for re-election for the first time in November, when he will be challenged by former Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst.
Long Island News Radio, WRCN/103.9 FM hosted a debate Thursday between Mr. Zeldin and Ms. Throne-Holst.
While moderator Jay Oliver’s questioning began with the presidential campaign, both candidates steered back to the First Congressional District election and their own platforms on guns, immigration and healthcare.
Click the audio link below to listen: