President Joe Biden issued a lackluster statement Friday condemning the attack on Rep. Lee Zeldin Thursday evening during a campaign event but ignored the weak bail laws in the state that allowed the attacker to go free.
“I condemn the attack on Congressman Zeldin in the strongest terms,” Biden said in a statement released from the White House.
Zeldin, who is running for governor in New York, was attacked by a man who jumped on stage as the congressman was speaking and pulled out a weapon.
“You’re done,” the man shouted as he tried to stab Zeldin.
Zeldin grabbed the attacker by the wrist until others ran to assist him in blocking him.
Clear view of the attack ag. Rep. Lee Zeldin today. Terrifying and terrible.
— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) July 22, 2022
Zeldin was unharmed and returned to the stage to finish his speech.
“As I’ve said before, violence has absolutely no place in our society or our politics,” Biden said, condemning the action.
A photo of the weapon the suspect used in Monroe County to attack Lee Zeldin earlier this evening. Appears to have holes for gripping purposes and long sharp point. #LeeZeldin pic.twitter.com/iNjxCjWtr4
— Metropolitan Republican Club (@metgopclub) July 22, 2022
The suspect, identified as 43-year-old David G. Jakubonis, was released without bail by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department after he was charged with Attempted Assault in the Second Degree.
Biden thanked law enforcement who restrained Jakubonis but did not address the weak bail laws in the state of New York that allowed the attacker to go free.
The president also did not condemn New York Governor Kathy Hochul for drawing attention to Zeldin’s events.
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) July 22, 2022
“I also want to thank the law enforcement officers who quickly took action and are investigating this attack that defies our fundamental democratic values,” Biden concluded.
Other Republicans took a stronger stand than Biden did against the attack, condemning Democrat policies for allowing the attacker to go free.
A man tried to assassinate @RepLeeZeldin with a knife. Thankfully, Lee is safe, but his attacker is already released back on the streets.
Democrats’ soft-on-crime policies are outrageous, but since Lee is a Republican, the media will largely ignore the attack.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) July 22, 2022
“Democrats’ soft-on-crime policies are outrageous, but since Lee is a Republican, the media will largely ignore the attack,” GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy wrote.