Republican Lee Zeldin is running for congress in New York and is an Iraq War veteran.

That didn’t stop the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from accusing Zeldin of being a coward.

Alex Pappas of the Daily Caller reported:

In a post on its website, the campaign arm of the House Democrats is asking whether Republican Lee Zeldin is being cowardly about Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget.

“Over a month after his House Republicans passed Paul Ryan’s reckless budget, Congressional Candidate Lee Zeldin is still too scared to admit how he would vote for the plan, even though he wants Long Islanders to send him to Congress,” the DCCC said in a release. “Even though every member of Congress had no choice but to vote yes or no weeks ago, what’s taking him so long to decide? There’s only one answer: Zeldin is either woefully uninformed, willfully ignorant or a coward.”

Zeldin responded on FOX News. Comments and video via NewsBusters:

Well, you have some liberal Democrat hack who is hiding behind his Twitter account, stuffs his face with cheese doodles, sending out press releases on DCCC letterhead, shameful attacks. And the fact is Nancy Pelosi, Steve Israel, Tim Bishop, they’ve never served a day, and I think when I was sitting at the door on that Blackhawk and the drill master hits the back of your head, and you do what’s so unnatural, jumping out with your parachute, here you are, fast forward to today and you have these Democratic hacks out of Washington who want to change the subject and fling insults, saying that I’m a coward. It just doesn’t fit.

Here’s the video:

Democrats now are retreating from the claim, as reported at Newsday:

Democrats on Friday disowned a campaign email that called a Republican Iraq War veteran who’s seeking to challenge Rep. Tim Bishop a “coward” for not taking a stand on a controversial House GOP federal budget proposal.

The email sent by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Wednesday also superimposed the face of the veteran, state Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), on a picture of the Cowardly Lion from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Both Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington), the DCCC chairman, and Bishop (D-Southampton) rejected the email after Zeldin condemned it on Fox News as a “shameful attack.”

“Rep. Israel was not shown the comments used to describe Iraq War veteran Lee Zeldin before they were sent out by DCCC staffers. He not only disagrees with these comments, but strongly condemns them,” said his aide Samantha Slater.