New York Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, condemned an email sent by his own organization last week that called a Republican Iraq War veteran a “coward.”
“Rep. Israel was not shown the comments used to describe Iraq War veteran Lee Zeldin before they were sent out by DCCC staffers. He not only disagrees with these comments, but strongly condemns them,” said Mr. Israel’s aide Samantha Slater, Newsday reported.
Mr. Zeldin is running for the U.S. House in New York to challenge Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop. An email sent by the DCCC on Wednesday showed Mr. Zeldin’s face superimposed on a picture of the Cowardly Lion from “The Wizard of Oz.” It criticized the veteran for not saying how he would vote regarding Rep. Paul Ryan’s controversial budget.
Mr. Bishop also condemned the attack.
“Bishop would not have used those words nor does he approve of them,” said his campaign manager Keith Davies, adding that Mr. Bishop has “enormous respect and gratitude” for Mr. Zeldin’s military service, Newsday reported.
Mr. Zeldin said he appreciated the two Democrats speaking out against needless “character attacks.”
“I think it’s good they took this step,” he said. “I look forward to moving on with a substantive debate on the best path forward for this country.”