Two New Yorkers took the stage at CPAC over the weekend, addressing the annual conservative gathering before former President Donald Trump gave remarks of his own.
One of the lawmakers — Rep. Elise Stefanik — proudly pushed for a Trump re-election, while the other — former Rep. Lee Zeldin — took aim at one of New York’s U.S. senators.
In her remarks Saturday, Stefanik made clear that regardless of the slowly emerging GOP primary field, she is sticking with Trump ahead of next year’s presidential contest.
What You Need To Know
- Rep. Stefanik reiterated her endorsement of the former president, saying, “We must take our country back in 2024 by reelecting President Donald J. Trump"
- Former Rep. Lee Zeldin, who offered no announcements about his political future, attacked sitting Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand as "one of the laziest, most forgettable, and unaccomplished senators"
- Gillibrand's team pushed back, saying she will put "her record against his any day of the week and twice on Sundays"
- Many New York congressional Republicans skipped the gathering, their offices saying they had commitments back home
“We must take our country back in 2024 by reelecting President Donald J. Trump,” she told the crowd.
Stefanik, who serves as House GOP Conference Chair, is now the top ranking New York Republican in Congress. Her own star rose as she aligned herself with Trump during his time in the White House.
“I know firsthand that the left, the entire corrupt Democrat ecosystem and vicious ‘Never Trumpers’ will smear, threaten, cancel, lie and do anything to try to silence us,” she said.
Zeldin offered takeaways from his bid for New York governor, which — although unsuccessful — arguably helped Republicans flip congressional seats across the state.
“We need to be competing everywhere in all 50 states. I don’t care what state you come from. There are important races, especially down ballot,” said the former Long Island congressman.
Zeldin offered no announcements about what he will do next, though he did take aim at Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat who is up for re-election next year.
“This is one of the laziest, most forgettable, and unaccomplished senators in the country and certainly, in my lifetime in New York,” he said of Gillibrand.
In a statement, Gillibrand’s spokesperson pushed back, writing, “Zeldin’s lies are a sad attempt to distract from the fact that in his entire career in Congress he accomplished basically nothing… [Gillibrand will] put her record against his any day of the week and twice on Sundays.”
Gillibrand’s team cited her successful legislative work on gun trafficking, military justice, military burn pits, and sexual harassment in the workplace.
Many New York congressional Republicans skipped the gathering, which overall saw lower attendance than in years past. Several of their offices told Spectrum News NY1 the members had commitments and events back in their districts to attend.