WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Democrat Tedra Cobb called Thursday for her Republican rival, Elise Stefanik, to step down from the re-election campaign of President Trump.
Cobb cited the revelations in journalist Bob Woodward’s new book, Rage, as the reason.
“Her continued participation in the campaign of someone who lied to Americans about the risks of a global health crisis, causing illness, death, and destruction far beyond what we should have had to bear, is simply unconscionable," Cobb said in a statement.
Stefanik is co-chair of the president’s New York re-election campaign.
Stefanik’s campaign spokeswoman, Maddie Anderson, responded “When both Taxin' Tedra Cobb and Joe Biden lose NY-21 by double digits, maybe she will finally realize how out of touch she is with hardworking families in our district and how offensive her constant unhinged rhetoric about President Trump is to the voters in our district who overwhelmingly elected him and support him.”
Cobb and Stefanik are vying to represent the north country’s sprawling 21st congressional district, which takes in 12 counties, including Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence.
Several national news organizations, including CNN and the Washington Post, have obtained advance copies of Woodward’s book. They report that President Trump told Woodward last winter - in tape recorded, on-the-record interviews - that the coronavirus is deadly, far worse than the flu, at the same time he was saying the opposite in public. Over the last day, President Trump has said he was trying to avoid panicking the public.
In her statement Thursday, Cobb cited Woodward’s book and the president saying of the virus threat that he liked “playing it down.”
“As a result of Donald Trump’s failed leadership, 190,000 Americans are dead, millions have gotten sick, and our economy is in shambles.,” Cobb said in the statement.
“Throughout this crisis, Elise Stefanik has politicized the pandemic for her own political gain. Now that Trump has admitted that he knew all along how serious this virus was and refused to tell the American people, I am calling on Elise to resign as co-chair for the Trump campaign.”
In July, Stefanik told 7 News she thought President Trump is doing a good job fighting the pandemic. The Stefanik campaign did not respond to 7 News questions Thursday about what was revealed in the Woodward book, and whether that changed her opinion about the president’s performance, but attacked Cobb’s comments.
“Every North Country voter knows that Taxin' Tedra Cobb is the most anti-Trump Democrat in the entire country. Her attacks on President Trump are an attack on the voters of the North Country,” Anderson, the campaign spokeswoman said in a statement.
“President Trump overwhelmingly won New York’s 21st Congressional District in 2016 and has never polled higher in our district as he heads to a win this November. Congresswoman Stefanik is proud to support President Trump for re-election and serve as New York Co-Chair of his campaign.”