Bill de Blasio’s Team Pre-Spins Joe Lhota’s Debate Strategy

Bill de Blasio on actor Alec Baldwin's new talk show.
Bill de Blasio on MSNBC last week.

Bill de Blasio’s mayoral campaign began the attacks tonight before the candidates even stepped on stage for their first major televised debate.

In a memo sent out to reporters, the Democrat’s team predicted rival Joe Lhota, who is currently far behind in the public polls, would do “everything in his power to run away from his Tea Party pandering and to conceal his traditional Republican Party ideas.”

You can watch the WABC-TV/WXTV Univision 41/Daily News/League of Women Voters debate here.

Here’s the full memo:

Memorandum Re: Tonight’s Debate
To: Interested Parties
From: De Blasio Press
Date: October 15, 2013

In tonight’s debate, Joe Lhota will do everything in his power to run away from his Tea Party pandering and to conceal his traditional Republican Party ideas. It’s no surprise why: all he’s offering are the tired and recycled Republican policies that shut down government in Washington and have made New York’s affordability and inequality crises in New York worse.

Here are the biggest falsehoods we can expect to hear from Joe Lhota tonight…and the truth about where he really stands:

When Joe Lhota criticizes Washington Republicans for shutting down the government…

Remember that he endorsed a one-year delay of Obamacare—the same delay over which Washington Republicans shut down the government:

  • Lhota Supports Tea Party Efforts to Delay Obamacare By One Year. “Joe Lhota has been scrambling for the last week to distance himself from Republicans in Washington, but he revealed Monday morning he agrees with members of his party on one key point: The individual mandate under Obamacare should be delayed for one year. […] But pressed on the one year delay on the requirement that all Americans buy health insurance—which was the main condition the House Republicans tacked on to the final budget resolution they passed before the shutdown—Lhota said he backs it.” [New York Daily News, “10/7/2013]

When Joe Lhota slams the Tea Party…

Remember that he pandered to the Tea Party during the Republican mayoral primary:

  • Lhota to Tea Party: “My Philosophical Issues Are Very Close to Yours in Many, Many Ways.”  [Staten Island Advance, 5/5/2013]

…and that he’s adopted their positions and rhetoric on issues like gun control:

  • Headline: “Joe Lhota Says It Should Be Easier For New Yorkers To Get A Gun Permit.” [NY1, 10/7/2013]
  • Lhota Mimics Tea Party and NRA Rhetoric, Calls Gun Regulations “Harassment.” “‘The city of New York, though, goes to an extreme with their, bureaucracy is not even strong enough of a word. It’s almost a level of harassment at a certain point and it needs to change,’ Lhota says at the April 25 meeting on Staten Island.” [NY1, 10/7/2013]
  • Lhota: “There’s something that should be fair and speedy about being able to get a gun permit.” [NY1, 10/7/2013]

When Joe Lhota says his policies are different from national Republicans…

Remember that his plan to give big tax breaks to corporations and the wealthiest New Yorkers mirrors that of Mitt Romney:

  • New York TimesLhota Plan “Familiar Republican Fish Wrap of Tax Cuts.” “So it is disheartening to see him offering an economic plan in the familiar Republican fish wrap of tax cuts, tax breaks and tax eliminations. It is explicit on what gets cut but vague on how blowing a hole in city finances is supposed to lead to prosperity and growth for all.” [New York Times, 10/1/2013]

When Joe Lhota says he will offer a break from the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations…

Remember that he has repeatedly praised both Giuliani and Bloomberg:

  • Lhota: “Mike Bloomberg’s 12 years in office have been very, very good.”  [Newsday, 8/10/13]
  • Lhota Agreed With Bloomberg “On Almost Everything He’s Done.” The Daily News reported in January 2013 that, “[Lhota] also had high praise for Bloomberg. ‘We should be very thankful that he’s been the mayor for the last 12 years,’ Lhota said. ‘I agree with Mike on almost everything he’s done.’” [Daily News, 1/18/13]
  • Lhota: “I cannot be separated from Rudy Giuliani.”  [New York Times, 9/29/13]
  • Lhota: “I’m inextricably linked with the Giuliani administration.”  [Amsterdam News, 7/11/13]

Bill de Blasio’s Team Pre-Spins Joe Lhota’s Debate Strategy