The back-and-forth with Schiff began when she spoke during a time that House rules reserved for questions from Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and his counsel. When Schiff pounded his gavel, Stefanik shot back: “What is the interruption for this time? This is the fifth time you have interrupted members of Congress, duly elected members of Congress.”
“A new Republican Star is born,” President Trump wrote in a Sunday tweet sharing video of the exchange. “Great going @EliseStefanik!”
But as Stefanik’s profile rose over the weekend, so too did her opponent’s. Tedra Cobb, a former county legislator who unsuccessfully challenged Stefanik in 2018, pulled in $1 million between Friday and Monday, according to her campaign. Celebrities including Chrissy Teigen, George Takei, Chelsea Handler and Zach Braff leaped to support her and encourage their followers to contribute to her campaign.
In tweets celebrating the outpouring of support, the Cobb campaign blasted Stefanik for engaging in “political theatre” during the impeachment inquiry. The lawmaker would later get her turn at the hearing to question the witness.
“@RepStefanik’s partisan political theatre is beneath the dignity of her office,” one tweet read. “She skipped several private hearings— now with the cameras on, she has repeatedly attempted to derail the public hearings. Stefanik should take her oath to the Constitution seriously.”
Republicans, meanwhile, seized upon the attacks against Stefanik, 35, accusing Schiff of shutting down a young female leader. They leveled charges of sexism in the way Stefanik was treated, both during the hearing and in the response to it.
“Liberals are pro women until we say or think something they don’t like then the name calling begins,” tweeted former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. “@RepStefanik, keep up the great fight. We have your back.”
Those claims mounted after George T. Conway III, husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and an outspoken Trump critic, called Stefanik “lying trash” in a Saturday tweet urging donations to Cobb’s campaign. As #TrashyStefanik trended on Twitter, Stefanik tweeted to Conway: “You need serious help.”
“My opponent Taxin’ Tedra can have your sick mysogynist support,” she added.
In a Monday statement, Republican leaders in New York accused the candidate and her supporters of a “vulgar, intolerable attempt to make money off of Elise’s success this week.”
Cobb, for her part, said in a tweet that politics “too often divides us” and that she would not participate in name-calling.
“I’m old enough to remember when we could expect our leaders to take the high road,” she wrote.
Her supporters marveled at the support pouring in, with Democratic strategist Adam Parkhomenko writing on Twitter: “20 years in politics and I’ve never been as proud as what @TedraCobb just did in 48 hours. Unreal. But very real.”
Campaign manager Tony Coppola told The Washington Post that donations had continued coming on Monday after surpassing the million-dollar mark. He said he didn’t have an exact figure for the money raised.
“It’s great to see the support because we’re going to have the resources to make sure we can communicate with voters about Tedra Cobb’s 30-year record of fighting for northern New Yorkers,” he said.
As the congressional race continued to attract attention throughout the day, Stefanik and her supporters attempted to cash in as well. In a Monday fundraising email, the congresswoman’s reelection campaign described her as “the 35-year-old Republican Congresswoman standing between the Democrats and our American Democracy.”
On Twitter, Stefanik shared an ad that featured Cobb voicing support for a carbon tax, praising soap operas as agents of change and saying, during a surreptitiously recorded video, that she believed assault rifles should be banned.
“AMERICA: Meet Taxin’ Tedra Cobb in her own words,” she wrote. “#NY21 voters know her for her gun-grabbing, tax-hiking, socialist policies. American should know her just as well as we do in the North Country - the #1 pro-impeachment Democrat candidate.”