Engel says he refuses to seek NYT endorsement over Cotton op-ed

Engel says he refuses to seek NYT endorsement over Cotton op-ed
© Greg Nash

New York Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelMany Democrats want John Bolton's testimony, but Pelosi stays mum China must be held accountable for its egregious actions against Hong Kong Voice of America not extending foreign journalists' visas: report MORE (D) said Thursday that he will not be seeking an endorsement from the New York Times over a controversial op-ed by Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonPublic letter in Harper's sparks furor Koch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads Lincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad MORE (R-Ark.) that it published the day before.

"I have decided not to seek the New York Times endorsement and I call on my opponents in this race to do the same,” Engel said in a statement.

Cotton's op-ed encouraged President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavis: Supreme Court decision is bad news for Trump, good news for Vance Meadows trying to root out suspected White House leakers by feeding them info: Axios Pressley hits DeVos over reopening schools: 'I wouldn't trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child' MORE to send military forces to cities facing protests incited by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in Minneapolis police custody last week.

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"No U.S. Senator should be calling out the military on the pages of the New York Times. And no progressive leader can morally accept the paper’s endorsement," Engel said, adding that he has canceled a scheduled interview with the paper's editorial board.

The Times, which has yet to release its 2020 congressional endorsements, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill. 

Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, is facing a push from the left in the June 23 primary. On Monday, Andom Ghebreghiorgis, one of two progressives originally challenging Engel in New York's 16th District, dropped from the race and endorsed Jamaal Bowman, a Bronx school principal who is backed by Justice Democrats.

On Wednesday, Bowman was endorsed by New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezIn politics, as in baseball, it ain't over till it's over Goya CEO dismisses critics for praise of Trump: 'I'm not apologizing' Trump tweets his support for Goya Foods amid boycott MORE (D), who achieved her own upset primary victory in 2018 against former longtime Rep. Joe CrowleyJoseph (Joe) CrowleyBowman declares victory over Engel in New York primary as votes still counted Progressives riding high as votes tabulated in NY, Kentucky The Hill's Campaign Report: Primary night in Kentucky and New York MORE (D) in a neighboring district. 

Engel made headlines on Tuesday when he was heard saying, “If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care” after he was told not all elected officials gathered at an event to address Monday night protests would get a chance to speak. 

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Engel told The Hill in a statement that he asked to speak because he wanted to let his constituents know where he stood on the issues being discussed. 

Bowman said the exchange was “painful to watch.” 

“We need to be taking care of our communities right now — whether it's election season or not,” Bowman said in a tweet.