Hochul On Locking Up Criminals: ‘I Don’t Know Why That’s So Important To You’

During Tuesday night’s gubernatorial debate, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) outright stated that she did not “know why” the issue of locking up criminals was “so important” to her opponent, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY).

As New York faces a crime wave, Zeldin has made the issue a major part of his campaign platform for governor. During the event on Tuesday night, he called out his Democrat opponent for not discussing the major issue affecting her constituents.

“We’re halfway through the debate, and she still hasn’t talked about locking up anyone committing any crimes,” the Republican candidate said.

“Anyone who commits a crime under our laws, especially with the change we made to bail, has consequences,” Hochul responded. “I don’t know why that’s so important to you.”

Meanwhile, crime has surged in New York City, with major crimes reportedly rising 36%.

According to reporting from the New York Post, “Grand larceny was up a whopping 48.3%, from 20,374 to 30,205 incidents, auto theft rose 42%, from 5,589 to 7,939, and robbery jumped 39.8%, from 7,366 to 10,294, over the same period in 2021… Rapes increased 10%, from 892 to 989, and felonious assaults were up 19.5%, from 13,086 to 15,640.”

Smash-and-grab robberies have been on the rise across the country, and videos of the incidents have come out of cities like NYC and gone viral online.

The rise in crime has largely been the focus of the campaigns of Republican candidates like Zeldin, who blame the policies of left-wing leaders like Hochul and their radical allies in the district attorneys’ offices — who push soft-on-crime policies.

One major example is New York’s cash-bail reform law, which often allows individuals who have been arrested for crimes to be back on the streets within hours. Zeldin has condemned this law, and has highlighted the recent wave of violent crimes taking place in New York City’s subway system.

Meanwhile, Hochul has openly supported the “No bail” law signed by her predecessor, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D). In an op-ed, Hochul declared that the “reforms were successful,” though she did note that “since the law was passed, we have seen a distressing increase in shootings and homicides.”

All of this comes as Zeldin has significantly narrowed Hochul’s lead in the polls heading into the November midterm elections — largely due to his focus on rising crime levels — with RealClearPolitics changing their rating of the New York governor race in the traditionally deep-blue state from ‘lean Democrat’ to ‘toss-up.’