GOP candidate stumbles over his words when asked if Trump is a viable 2024 presidential candidate

GOP candidate stumbles over his words when asked if Trump is a viable 2024 presidential candidate
Image via Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons
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Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump but during his recent debate, he appeared to strategically distance himself from him.

During the debate, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) asked Zeldin, “Is Donald Trump a great president?”

Instead of offering a "yes" or "no" answer, Zeldin attempted to dodge the question altogether. “I worked closely with him on a ...” Zeldin said, to which Hochul interjected asking “yes or no?”

READ MORE: NYT Editorial Board endorses Kathy Hochul over 'unfit' right-wing Lee Zeldin for New York governor

Although the moderator gave Zeldin time to answer, the Republican lawmaker refrained from doing so.

Per HuffPost, Zeldin opted to focus on "his work with Trump to combat gang violence, securing equipment for a lab, and Trump’s Abraham Accords aiming to normalize relations between Israel and the Arab nations of United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco."

The lawmaker's shift led to Hochul saying, “I’ll take that as a resounding ‘yes.’” She added, "And the voters of New York do not agree with you.”

In addition to his refusal to answer whether or not Trump was a good president, he also offered a vague response when asked if he would like to see another Trump presidential run in 2024.

READ MORE: Donald Trump says American Jews 'have to get their act together'

Although Zeldin pivoted on his support for Trump during the debate, voters have not forgotten his role in the former president's attempted coup to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

"Lee Zeldin is a dangerous traitor to our democracy. Even AFTER a near coup on Jan 6, he went back that night and voted AGAINST certifying the votes of 145 million Americans!" one Twitter user tweeted. "Zeldin will pardon Trump too. We can’t let him get close to the Governor mansion. VOTE BLUE New Yorkers!"

Trump University prosecutor Tristan Snell also tweeted, "Lee Zeldin supported the January 6 coup and voted to overturn the 2020 election. He would pardon Donald Trump and Steve Bannon. He accepted Trump's endorsement the SAME DAY that Trump blasted an antisemitic threat. Zeldin is WAY too extreme to be governor of NY."

READ MORE: 'You were on board': Fox News host confronts GOP Senator Mike Lee for role in fake electors plot

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