Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota was back on the attack this morning, again trying to paint his rival, Bill de Blasio, as a “radical” leftist.
“There’s no doubt that my opponent has a very, very—he calls it progressive—I call it a very radical view of the world. And New Yorkers should all be concerned,” said Mr. Lhota during an appearance on WOR’s The John Gambling Show.
“We should be talking about how we’re gonna be able to create jobs for New York, not how to support these progressive policies that he has,” he added.
Mr. Lhota has been on the attack since the New York Times published a story on Mr. de Blasio’s revolutionary college days, when he supported the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Today, the New York Post dug up an old story about Mr. Blasio’s participation in City Council event honoring Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe–a decision he later conceded was a “mistake.”
Mr. Gambling went on to say that things people did back in 1970s or 8os “really don’t have a lot of relevance today”—but argued they reveal people’s core leanings.
“Past is prologue. If you’ve done before you’ll do it again,” added Mr. Lhota. “It’s about your inner core feelings. It’s about your personal philosophy. We need to understand how people think, especially if we’re going to put our children in their hands.”
Mr. de Blasio’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but during his own radio appearance this morning on Hot 97, Mr. de Blasio again accused Mr. Lhota of taking his cues from the old Republican playbook.
“Look I think the Republicans are up to their old tricks and some of the stuff, some of the rhetoric you’re hearing the last few days is classic, the kind of negative rhetoric that they use traditionally in elections, the kind of right-wing approach we’ve seen many times before,” he said, adding: “I don’t think the people in this city are going to fall for it.”
Additional reporting by Ross Barkan.