Joe Lhota Aghast at Bill de Blasio’s ‘Fiscal Conservative’ Claim

Joe Lhota. (Photo: Getty)

Joe Lhota. (Photo: Getty)

Joe Lhota’s campaign is fuming that Bill de Blasio, his Democratic mayoral rival, called himself a “fiscal conservative” at a business breakfast this morning.

“It’s delusional for anyone to think Bill de Blasio is a fiscal conservative. Welcome to another episode of the latest in unreality TV: Pandering Bill. He’ll say anything to anyone to get elected,” Mr. Lhota’s campaign raged in an email entitled “Bill de Blasio a fiscal conservative?!”

“Cue the laugh track.  Except it’s sad, not funny. The City’s future is at stake,” the statement declared.

Mr. de Blasio had claimed that, because he was concerned about balancing the city’s budget, he could be called a “fiscal conservative” despite his otherwise liberal politics. But Mr. Lhota’s camp clearly didn’t buy the argument, pointing out that the city’s budget swelled when Mr. de Blasio served in the council–thus invalidating his fiscal conservative claim.

Mr. de Blasio has also positioned himself as the race’s progressive candidate, promising to raise taxes on the rich to pay for universal pre-k.

The attack comes as Mr. Lhota, lagging significantly in the polls, has been launching increasingly direct broadsides against Mr. de Blasio, trying to drag him down. Earlier this week, Mr. Lhota, a deputy mayor in former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s administration, slammed his Democratic rival for lacking management experience.

Mr. de Blasio, meanwhile, has sought to portray Mr. Lhota as too right-wing for New York voters, connecting him to Mitt Romney, George W. Bush and Barry Goldwater.

Mr. de Blasio’s campaign declined to comment on Mr. Lhota’s latest charge.