Rick Lazio has a strategy for dealing with Steve Levy.
Call him a Democrat. A liberal Democrat!
Standing in a cramped midtown office for a hastily-called press conference, Lazio described Levy as “someone who’s been a Democrat his whole life, supported Eliot Spitzer and Shelly Silver, and Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama, and switches simply–I think he’s been very clear that this individual would have ran as a Democrat if he felt that was an easier path. This is all about that individual. For me, its about the people of New York.”
Lazio scoffed at the notion that Levy was a “fiscal conservative.”
“Really? Fiscal conservative?” Lazio said, when presented that characterization by a reporter.
“I seem to remember when he was a county legislator and I was a county legislator he voted for a 160 percent property-tax hike. If you look at his record in Albany, he’s had his time in Albany. He’s one of the reasons why we are where we are.”
Later, Lazio tried playing it cool when asked how many Republican defections his campaign can sustain.
“I have zero concern about whether we’re going to have the support that we need to have this nomination,” he said.
When I asked Lazio what was the downside to having a Republican primary, he said, “I just think Levy should run in the Democratic primary. I think everyone who wants to run, should run. I just think if you’re a lifelong Democrat and you’re a registered Democrat, run as a Democrat.”
When I asked, again, if there was any downside to having a Republican primary, Lazio spokesman Barney Keller interrupted by saying, “Thank you. Thank you.” Then, Lazio walked passed me and ignored the question a third time.