Mazi Pilip, Tom Suozzi clash over abortion, border during first debate

Republican Mazi Pilip and Democrat Tom Suozzi sparred over abortion and border safety Thursday throughout their first debate within the race to interchange George Santos in Congress.

The pre-taped, city hall-style debate Thursday, hosted by  Information 12 Lengthy Island, comes as new polls shows Pilip and Suozzi are basically tied with lower than every week to go earlier than the Feb. 13 particular election in New York’s third Congressional District.

Pilip declared that she is “pro-life” and can “combat for ladies’s rights,” main Suozzi to query her stance on abortion in a fiery back-and-forth. 

“Though I’m a mom of seven youngsters, I feel on the subject of abortion, each lady ought to have the selection to make that call,” Pilip mentioned. “I selected to be a mom of seven youngsters. That was my selection. I’m not going to drive my very own perception on any lady.

“Subsequently, I’m not going to assist a nationwide abortion ban. Subsequently I’m not going to danger girls’s rights,” she added. 

Mazi Pilip, who’s tied with Suozzi simply lower than every week to go earlier than the Feb. 13 election, says she is “pro-life.” Gabriella Bass

“Are you saying that you simply’re pro-choice?” Suozzi probed. 

“Are you pro-choice?” the previous congressman inquired once more, interrupting Pilip as she started to reply. 

“It’s a private resolution, a private selection, so each lady ought to have that selection,” Pilip mentioned. “I’m not gonna inform her what to do.”

The fiery backwards and forwards between the 2 was ignited when Rep. Tom Suozzi questioned Pilip’s stance on abortion. AP

“So that you’re pro-choice,” Suozzi interjected. 

Pilip, fuming at this level and elevating her voice, fired again, “Once more, this can be a private selection. Each lady will make that call.” 

“Simply say you’re pro-choice,” Suozzi demanded.

Mazi Pilip argued that each lady ought to have the selection to make their very own resolution. Gabriella Bass

“I Mazi Pilip, I’m pro-life. That is me,” the Ethiopia-born Nassau County legislator declared.  

“She’s being like Rick Lazio proper now,” Suozzi joked, referencing the previous New York congressman with an identical abortion stance. 

Pilip indicated that despite the fact that she’s been endorsed by the New York State Conservative Occasion, which opposes abortion, “it doesn’t imply I’m going to agree with all the things they’re going to inform.” 

Learn extra of The Submit’s protection on the particular election to interchange George Santos:

Republican Mazi Pilip is working towards former Rep. Tom Suozzi within the particular election to interchange George Santos in New York’s Third Congressional District. Gabriella Bass; Kevin C. Downs for NY Submit

The candidates additionally clashed on immigration and border safety, and Suozzi — who has been branded by a pro-GOP super PAC as “Sanctuary Suozzi” — was pressured to defend his resolution to take away federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement brokers from Nassau County when he served as county government.

“So, George Santos bought elected by mendacity about his report. Ms. Pilip desires to get elected by mendacity about me,” Suozzi mentioned of the “Sanctuary Suozzi” adverts. 

He argued that he advised ICE brokers to go residence after a criticism from the Nassau County police commissioner.

Tom Suozzi additionally clashed with Philip on immigration and border safety. Kevin C. Downs for NY Submit

“The fact is that in 2007, my police commissioner got here to me and mentioned, ‘These guys are breaking the principles.’ They’d 96 warrants. They went to 90 improper addresses and broke down folks’s doorways,” Suozzi claimed. “They pulled weapons on Nassau County cops.” 

“He mentioned, ‘I can’t work with these guys.’ So my police commissioner requested me to cease working with ICE. Would you deny your police commissioner?”

Suozzi famous that as a congressman in 2018, he was one in all solely 18 Democrats “that voted to fund ICE,” and argued that the vote was proof he holds no allegiance to the far-left “Squad” of Home lawmakers. 

Tom Suozzi made the purpose he was one in all solely 18 Democrats “that voted to fund ICE.”

“To counsel that I’m a member of the squad is about as plausible as [Pilip] being a member of George Santos’ volleyball team,” he mentioned in his second Santos-related zinger of the evening. 

Pilip countered that as a member of Congress, Suozzi “voted to open the borders” and “created the migrant disaster.”

Regardless of being endorsed by the New York State Conservative Occasion, Pilip made it clear she gained’t “agree with all the things they’re going to inform.” Getty Pictures

“Let me inform you, as a county government, you might be in command of this county. It doesn’t matter what the [police[ commissioner will tell you. In the end, you make that decision,” she continued. 

“Mazi Pilip exposed Tom Suozzi for being Joe Biden’s accomplice in creating the migrant crisis and held Suozzi accountable for lying about her, especially her position on abortion,” Brian Devine, a spokesperson for Pilip said in a statement about the debate.

Meanwhile, Suozzi’s campaign slammed Pilip’s debate performance as “erratic” and “unsettling.”

“Mazi Pilip’s performance was incredibly unsettling,” Suozzi campaign adviser Kim Devlin said in a statement. “Pilip was completely uninformed, constantly repeated scripted talking points, and grew increasingly erratic over being challenged on issues.”

A Siena College poll, conducted for Newsday and released Thursday, found that 44% of likely voters support Pilip, a two-time immigrant and ex-Israeli paratrooper, while 48% back Suozzi. The poll had a 4.2 percentage point margin of error, indicating that the race is tied. 

A separate Emerson College Polling/PIX11/The Hill survey, also released Thursday, showed 50% of likely voters support Suozzi, while 47% back Pilip. That poll had 3.5 percentage point margin of error, again signaling a statistical dead heat.

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