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Thompson Attacks De Blasio's Position On Term Limits

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In the race for mayor, William Thompson has been slightly behind in the polls and to stand out he has been on the attack, and Tuesday was no different, as the former comptroller tried his hand with an old issue: term limits. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

About five years ago, William Thompson and Bill de Blasio were on the same side when it came to term limits.

"It is almost like a day that democracy died in New York City," Thompson said in October 2008.

"We take the issue back to the people," de Blasio said in October 2008.

On Tuesday, Thompson was slamming de Blasio, once again taking on the public advocate's new front-runner status.

"He'll admit that I was the one calling him to play a role in the effort," de Blasio said Tuesday.

"He supported overturning term limits through the back door, through the City Council, undermining the will of the people of New York City," Thompson said Tuesday. "I was stunned.

The attack was over de Blasio's so-called flip flop on term limits. In 2005, de Blasio suggested extending term limits legislatively. He was then a vocal opponent of the measure in 2008.

Thompson is using the issue to try to link de Blasio with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who pushed through the term limit extension.

Thompson, who just received the endorsement of El Diario and the Citizens Union good government group, has been trailing both Quinn and de Blasio in the polls.

"I guess the only difference between them was that Christine Quinn got elected speaker and Bill didn't, and his position then changed," Thompson said. "But the truth is, if he would have been the speaker in 2008, I guess he would have done the same thing that Christine Quinn did."

The term limits issue is gaining renewed attention, even from those currently at City Hall. Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson, who used to work side by side with de Blasio, called de Blasio's position confusing this week.

"When his position in 2005, when he was running for speaker, he was for changing the term limits," Wolfson said Monday on NY1's "Road to City Hall." "He wanted to do it legislatively. He didn't even want to go back to the people to do that, as some people wanted to. So I find that confusing."

"Howard does a great job of providing spin for Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn and defending the notion that the status quo is acceptable in the city," de Blasio said. "And it's not."

The fight over term limits did end about five years ago, but it's still is a hot topic on the campaign trail. It's unclear whether or not these issues will resonate with voters.

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