This morning, former MTA Chair Joe Lhota became the first major mayoral candidate to directly go after Anthony Weiner in a strongly-worded fund-raising pitch, perhaps providing a taste of what could be a heated general election pairing.
“Do you think he deserves a second chance?” Mr. Lhota asked his supporters in an email, which comes after a new poll found Mr. Weiner leading the Democratic contest, posting a five points lead over his closest rival.
Mr. Lhota, a Republican and former deputy mayor, won’t face the Democratic nominee until November, and both Mr. Lhota and Mr. Weiner still have to win their respective primaries, but Mr. Lhota painted the election as a choice between the two men, declaring, “it’s up to us to stop him.”
“It won’t take me long to convince you to send me an urgently-needed contribution to my campaign,” he wrote, using bold, underlined text for emphasis. “In fact, I think it will only take seven words: One of my opponents is Anthony Weiner.”
Mr. Lhota went on to slam Mr. Weiner for the Twitter scandal that forced him to resign from Congress in shame two years ago.
“Like me, I’m sure that you had hoped to have seen the last of Anthony Weiner when he resigned from Congress following an illicit sexual Twitter scandal and botched cover up, but he’s back and desperate for political redemption,” he wrote.
“Now a candidate for mayor of New York City, he is so determined to be back in the spotlight that he’s padding his resume with dubious claims like bragging that he coined the term ‘Obamacare.’ (Later, his campaign was forced to admit that he didn’t.) He’s even bragging about facing me in the November election every chance he gets,” he added. “But it’s the same old story with Anthony Weiner. First, he lies to the public, the press and his family. And then he makes up his own facts. This is a pattern that is simply unacceptable.”
This, of course, is not the first time the two have sparred. Mr. Weiner recently attacked Mr. Lhota for failing to work to give the city more control of its state-run transit system back when he ran the MTA, anointing him “Lord Governor of MTA.”
But the two also claim they have known each other for years, with Mr. Lhota recently telling the Post, “Anthony’s been a friend for a long time.”