Cobb, In Video, Says Assault Weapons Should Be Banned, But...Posted: Updated:
An undercover video caught Tedra Cobb, the Democratic candidate for the north country's seat in congress, saying she believes assault weapons should be banned - but she can't say it publicly.
The video was posted to a YouTube channel called "Democrat Tracking" and was apparently recorded without Cobb's knowledge in May. Cobb is running against two term incumbent Republican Elise Stefanik to represent the 12 county 21st congressional district.
The district is widely regarded as leaning conservative, and gun rights are an issue for many voters.
In the video, Cobb is discussing with a group of teens an event she attended earlier in the day.
She says: "When I was at this thing today, it was the first table I was at, a woman said "How do you feel about assault rifles?" And I said they should be banned.
"And I just said to her, I want you to know Cindy, I cannot say that. And she said 'Well, I wan t you to,' and I said 'I won't win.'"
"I said 'Moms Demand says' and Tricia Pleau said, 'Do not say that you want an assault rifle ban because you will not win.'"
In an interview with 7 News, Cobb said the video was recorded just after a school shooting in Texas that killed 10 people, and which was on the minds of the young people she was talking to.
"I was talking to kids about their very real fears," she said.
Cobb's recorded remarks drew quick fire from Republicans.
Chris Martin, regional press secretary of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said Cobb's comments are disqualifying, as reported by the conservative web site, the Washington Free-Beacon.
"Tedra Cobb knows that she's wildly out of touch with the district, so she's desperately trying to hide her liberal agenda from voters," Martin told the Free-Beacon. "First, she was forced to admit that she raised taxes over 20 times, and now she's being exposed for lying to voters about her support for an assault weapons ban and taking guns away from law-abiding citizens."
“Is this going to be part of her if she gets elected? Is she going to be making mistakes? Is she going to be basically changing her mind? Is she basically going to be lying?" said Tom Jenison, St. Lawrence County Republican chairman.
How Cobb's remarks play with voters who have guns is an open question. Joe Russell, who owns Hilltop Hunting & Fishing Supply said "I deal with some good people. And these are the working, voting people. So I think it's a very poor choice politically.”
Cobb has not said whether she would vote for a ban on assault weapons. Her web site lists a number of other gun control measures she supports.
“There have been 20 school shootings and Congress still has done nothing. And had done nothing. And it still has done nothing," Cobb said.