Speaking in front of a sympathetic audience in Queens last night, Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota elaborated–in visceral detail–on his “true fear” of what will happen to the city if rival Bill de Blasio wins the mayor’s race.
“Somebody would smash your window and rip out the dashboard and take your radio and sell it for 25 bucks so they could get a quick hit of whatever their problem was,” Mr. Lhota warned the right-leaning Juniper Park Civic Association. “I remember walking the streets and thinking I was walking on glass but I was walking on crack vials … It was an epidemic.”
The comments came as Mr. Lhota was defending his controversial new television commercial, which depicted several grisly crime scenes as examples of what will happen under a de Blasio administration.
“Quite honestly, we picked those pictures specifically,” said Mr. Lhota. (One of the photographs is from 2012.)
“Those were real pictures taken in the City of New York from 1988 through 1992 thereabouts. And they were real. And the things I remember so vividly–I left it out in the car, I should’ve brought it–my sign that I still have that says, ‘No Radio.’ Remember those signs? Remember why we needed them?” he asked.
The civic association, one of the larger and more organized neighborhood groups in the borough, murmured approvingly.
Still, Mr. Lhota told the elderly crowd that some residents of New York City might not be receptive to the messaging because they were not in the five boroughs two decades ago when his former boss, Rudy Giuliani, was first elected mayor.
“They don’t remember what New York was like,” he said. “So when I put out my ad that talked about how we’d go backwards under de Blasio’s reckless and dangerous policies, a lot of people didn’t understand the pictures they were looking at.”
The day before, Mr. Lhota said he would even fear for his personal safety if his Democratic opponent wins. Mr. de Blasio is currently more than 40 points ahead in the polls.