Thompson Calls Bloomberg Republican, Independence Party Takes Offense

Bill Thompson's campaign aggressively pushing the Bloomberg-is-a-Republican line today.

Bloomberg, who is running on the G.O.P. line, will be on the Independence Party line too, and likes to refer to himself as an "independent"

Jackie Salit, a leader in the Independence Party, is defending Bloomberg, and emailed reporters to say, "The Thompson campaign memo leaves out an important fact about Thompson’s relationship to the Independence Party. He reached out to us in the hopes of receiving our endorsement because it’s a vital way to establish a candidate’s bona fides as an independent. We’re very proud of that. We endorsed Mike Bloomberg because he is the independent in the mayor’s race and should be recognized as such.”

When asked when Thompson sought the party's backing, Independence Party spokeswoman Sarah Lyons emailed to say, "Nov / Dec 2008."

Thompson spokesman Mike Murphy responded by, basically, ignoring Salit's comments, and continued using the words "Republican" and "Bloomberg" as many times as possible.

"Is Mike Bloomberg or is he not on the Republican line. If he didn’t want to be identified as a republican he shouldn’t have spent a quarter of a million dollars securing a spot on that line. If he talks like a republican and governs like a republican then I say he is a republican," Murphy wrote in an email.

All told, the leaders of the Independence Party probably aren't the surrogates Howard Wolfson or Bradley Tusk would choose to deliver Bloomberg's message at any given time. On the other hand, Thompson's campaign is trying to pick a fight with Michael Bloomberg and now finds itself in a back-and-forth with…Jackie Salit.

Probably not a game-changer.