Just how badly did unlected Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul’s debate with Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin go? Badly enough that she’s been avoiding the press corps like the plague ever since. She quickly and quietly disappeared following the debate where she actually laughed and wondered aloud why Zeldin was so focused on the state’s rapidly rising crime rates. The following day, Hochul showed up at a senior citizens’ center in Times Plaza where she individually spoke with a few dozen residents over lunch. Reporters were directed to the lobby of the building for a press gaggle by the Governor’s spokeswoman. But they waited in vain after Hochul was bustled out of a back door. Reporters running outside to catch her only managed to get a glimpse of her SUV as it sped away. (NY Post)
Gov. Kathy Hochul used the old “bait and switch” to avoid post-debate questions from the city’s press corps on Wednesday — luring reporters away from a campaign event in Brooklyn and then ducking out a back door.
The sneaky strategy unfolded just hours after Hochul’s first and only face-off with Republican challenger Lee Zeldin, during which the incumbent Democrat stunningly said she couldn’t understand why it’s “so important” to lock up criminals.
In the wake of the controversial remark, Hochul stumped for votes at the RAICES Times Plaza Neighborhood Senior Center, where she individually chatted up about 30 people as they ate lunch in the basement cafeteria.
Spokeswoman Jen Goodman was left with the unenviable task of trying to explain Hochul’s disappearing act. She came back to the waiting reporters and claimed that an unspecified “security threat” had caused the cancellation of the press conference. When pressed for more details, she said that protesters had entered the facility and “disrupted the space,” leading to concerns for the Governor’s safety.
That answer didn’t fly any better than the first attempt. Reporters noted that a single protester had shown up in the lobby. He was described as a “well-dressed man” who was holding a sign that read, “Sign the Foreclosure Abuse Prevention Act.” The man reportedly said nothing and did not approach the front of the venue where Hochul would have been speaking. He did speak briefly to the receptionist in the lobby, but that was all and nobody asked him to leave. So that was the “security threat” that caused Kathy Hochul to flee out into Manhattan’s traffic?
Reporters were then told by Goodman that they could catch up with Hochul and speak to her at her next event which was to take place at the Sheraton New York Times Square hotel. The press corps dutifully headed to their cars and followed the governor to the hotel. But after delivering a ten-minute speech, Hochul once again walked past all of the reporters silently as they called out questions to her.
You can almost sympathize with Hochul’s handlers for wanting to keep her away from the press. Her debate was almost as much of a disaster as John Fetterman’s. When Lee Zeldin pointedly asked her why she refuses to talk about “locking up criminals” during her campaign events, Hochul responded by saying, “I don’t know why that’s so important to you.”
For a person asking for the votes of people whose top three issues are crime, inflation, and the cost of living, that was one of the more tone-deaf answers imaginable. But perhaps she truly doesn’t understand. Either that or she knows that she’s done nothing to curb the escalating crime rates and simply doesn’t have an answer to give.
Hochul’s refusal to take any questions or address the concerns of the voters may already be coming back to haunt her. In Arizona, cowardly Democrat Katie Hobbs ran away from every opportunity to debate Kari Lake and now Hobbs is trailing by double digits. And this week we saw our first poll where Kathy Hochul was narrowly trailing Lee Zeldin in a state where Democrats maintain a two-to-one registration advantage. We have indeed lived to see interesting times.