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Politicians must ‘stop being tone-deaf’ to kitchen-table issues, says Hochul

Asked if Rep. Jamaal Bowman should be accusing his opponent of supporting genocide in Gaza, the governor replied: “I think we should stop calling names.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul delivers remarks at the Latino Pastoral Action Center and Sanctuary in the Bronx, N.Y. on June 23, 2024. Credit: Don Pollard/Office of Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Gov. Kathy Hochul delivers remarks at the Latino Pastoral Action Center and Sanctuary in the Bronx, N.Y. on June 23, 2024. Credit: Don Pollard/Office of Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Asked in an interview on Sunday’s State of the Union” program on CNN if she thinks Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) ought to be accusing George Latimer—his opponent in Tuesday’s primaries—of supporting Israeli genocide, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul demurred.

“Do you support that kind of language?” asked Kaitlan Collins of CNN. “Are you OK with that?”

“Let me say this. As the leader of the Democratic Party in the State of New York, I am not weighing in on primaries intentionally,” she said. “But what I’m very focused on is number one, I stand strongly with Israel. I went to Israel after Oct. 7. It is traumatizing still to see the images of women who were raped and just the—what that country endured.”

Collins pressed: “Without endorsing anyone—the language itself—he’s saying that he’s supporting a genocide in Gaza. It’s quite strong language.”

“We have heard this all over. I think the tone of discourse in many elections far exceeds what I think is appropriate on all sides, so I’ll just put that out there,” she said, according to a transcript posted on her official website.

“So, you think that’s inappropriate?” Collins asked again.

Hochul, a Democrat, again avoided criticizing Bowman, who has a long history of antisemitic comments.

“I think that we should stop calling names. I think we should talk about the issues that people here in the State of New York care about,” the governor said. “They want us to stand strong and have a sensible common sense immigration bill. They want us to pass a ban on bump stocks. They want to make sure that we can do whatever we can to protect women’s rights. They want us to do what we can on affordability.”

“Those are the issues that in all the districts where congressional races are being held—that’s what people care about,” Hochul continued. “We should not be tone-deaf to what’s actually happening at people’s kitchen tables at their social gatherings. Stop being tone-deaf as a party overall to those issues.”

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