Tedra Cobb, the Democratic candidate in New York's 21st Congressional District, told a group of teenage supporters that she supports a ban on certain firearms but won't say so publicly for fear of losing her election.
"When I was at this thing today, it was the first table I was at, a woman said, 'How do you feel about assault rifles?' And I said they should be banned," Cobb can be heard saying in the video recorded by one of the attendees. "And I said, you know, people were getting up to go, to go get their lunch because it was a buffet, and I just said to her, I want you to know Cindy, I cannot say that."
When the woman pushed back on Cobb keeping quiet on how she feels about banning certain firearms, Cobb said coming out in favor of a gun ban would lead to her losing her bid against Republican incumbent Elise Stefanik.
"And she said, 'Well, I want you to' and I said, 'I won't win,'" Cobb said. "I said Moms Demand [Action] says, and Tricia Pleau said, 'Do not say that you want an assault rifle ban because you will not win.'"
Tricia Pleau is a member of the New York chapter of the gun-control group Moms Demand Action.
Cobb's campaign website features a page on "Addressing Gun Violence" detailing her support for a number of gun-control measures but does not feature any language supporting a specific ban on any firearms.
Chris Martin, regional press secretary of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said Cobb's comments are disqualifying.
"Tedra Cobb knows that she's wildly out of touch with the district, so she's desperately trying to hide her liberal agenda from voters," Martin said. "First, she was forced to admit that she raised taxes over 20 times, and now she's being exposed for lying to voters about her support for an assault weapons ban and taking guns away from law-abiding citizens."
The Cobb campaign did not respond to a request for comment from the Free Beacon but did issue a statement to The Post Star.
"I was meeting with some young people who were speaking about their very real fear of gun violence in their schools," Cobb told the paper. "I told them the truth — that the inability of our political system to talk about issues and practical solutions without politics getting in the way is why Washington has not made any progress to protect them. Even on things we agree on — like universal background checks and prohibiting the mentally ill from getting a firearm."
Cobb said she does not support an assault weapons ban despite what she said on the video.
"There are a lot of common-sense things we need to do right now to make our kids safer without getting stuck on a stalemate issue like an Assault Weapons B an (sic) that would not pass this Congress and would not get signed by this president," the statement said. "It’s a moot point, and voters in the North Country know that. Let’s talk about the things where there is common ground, where we can make progress right now. Our kids deserve no less."
UPDATE July 11, 3:10 P.M.: This post has been updated to include a statement the Cobb campaign made to another news outlet in response to this story.